Associate Dean for Clinical Education (Newark), Professor of Law, Annamay Sheppard Scholar, and Director of the Child Advocacy Clinic
Randi Mandelbaum
Rutgers Law School
S.I. Newhouse Center for Law and Justice
123 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102

Randi Mandelbaum has devoted her career to working with children and families.  As the founding director of the Child Advocacy Clinic, she spearheads a unique clinical program, which is aimed at comprehensively addressing the needs of low-income children and their families. The CAC provides representation to foster children, undocumented immigrant children, and low income children with disabilities. 

  • Biography
  • Publications
  • Courses Taught
  • Expertise

Professor Randi Mandelbaum is a Professor of Law, the Annamay Sheppard Scholar, and the Director of the Child Advocacy Clinic.

Professor Mandelbaum earned a B.S. from Brandeis University, a J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law, and an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center. She has devoted her career to working with children and families and has extensive experience in clinical legal education. Professor Mandelbaum began her legal career as a staff attorney at the Child Advocacy Unit of the Legal Aid Bureau in Baltimore, representing children in matters involving child abuse and neglect, termination of parental rights, custody, visitation, public benefits, special education, and foster care placement. She then went to the Georgetown University Law Center where, with another professor, she created a clinical program addressing the legal needs of families living in poverty. Prior to coming to Rutgers, she was an associate clinical professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she taught in the Civil Justice Clinic, Hastings’ clinical program.

As founding director of the Rutgers Child Advocacy Clinic (CAC), Professor Mandelbaum designed and developed this unique clinical program, which is aimed at comprehensively addressing the needs of low-income children and their families. The CAC provides representation to foster children, undocumented immigrant children, and low income children with disabilities.  The CAC also sponsors a statewide community education project (the “Aging Out Project”) aimed at educating older foster youth about their rights and entitlements.  Professor Mandelbaum’s scholarship focuses on the legal representation of children, the rights of siblings to maintain their relationships, issues concerning undocumented immigrant children, and child welfare law and law and policy.


Heeding the Voices of Migrant Youth: The Need to Take Action, reviewing Unaccompanied: The Plight of Immigrant Youth at the Border by Emily Ruehs-Navarro, Vol. 121, No. 6 Michigan Law Review (forthcoming 2023)

Release to Sponsor Approved, Now What? in Emily Ruehs-Navarro, Ph.D. and Lina Caswell, Eds., Kids in Cages: The History, Politics, and Lived Experiences of Child Migrant Detention (NYU Press) (book chapter accepted, forthcoming 2023)

Why Does the Federal Government Get a Pass? Applying Best Practices in Child Protection to the Circumstances of Migrant Children and Families, 71 American Univ. L. Rev. 1977 (2022). SSRN Top Ten list in the area of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship in March and April 2022.

This is What Happens to Child Migrants Found Alone at the Border from the Moment they Cross into the U.S. Until Age 18 THE CONVERSATION (July 23, 2021) (

The Situation at the U.S.-Mexico is a Crisis – But is it New? THE CONVERSATION (April 2, 2021) (

Viewpoint: Applying a Human Rights Lens to the Work of the Biden Task Force on Separated Families, (with Jennifer McQuaid, Ph.D.), Health and Human Rights Journal, Harvard School of Public Health (March 10, 2021)

Supporting Immigrant Children and Youth: What Pediatricians and Other Clinicians Can Do, PEDIATRIC CLINICS OF NORTH AMERICA, Volume 67, Issue 2, pages 309-324 (Elsevier, April 2020)

A Pathway to Permanency: Collaborating for the Futures of Children who are Immigrants in the Child Welfare System (with Joanne Gottesman and Meredith Pindar), Vol. 96, No. 6 CHILD WELFARE 25 (2019)

Responding to the Child Migrant Crisis (with Joanne Gottesman and Anju Gupta), New Jersey Lawyer 54-56 (February 2017)

Re-Examining and Re-Defining Permanency from a Youth’s Perspective,43 Capital Law Review 259 (2015), Presented on March 6, 2014 as part of 10th Annual Wells Conference on Adoption Law.

Special Provisions for Immigrant Youth: A Model State Statute (January 2015) (with Olga Byrne, Dora Galactos, Alison Kamhi, Garret Rasmussen, and Elissa Steglich)

Disparate Outcomes: The Quest for Uniform Treatment of Immigrant Children, 50 Family Court Review 606 (2012) (with Elissa Steglich). Presented on November 9, 2012 as part of Symposium at Hofstra Law School.

Delicate Balances: Assessing the Needs and Rights of Siblings in Foster Care to Maintain Their Relationships Post-Adoption, 41 New Mexico Law Review 1 (2011).

Child Welfare and Special Education (with Jennifer Rosen Valverde), chapter in Special Education Advocacy (Matthew Bender/Lexis 2011)

Aging Out: Don't Miss Out:  A Model of Community Legal Education, 48 Family Court Review 338 (2010).

Aging Out: Don’t Miss Out: Clinics and Community Education, chapter in You Can Tell It to the Judge and Other True Tales of Law School Lawyering (Vandeplas Publishing 2009).

Traumatized Yet Again: The Plight of Foster Children in Times of Natural Disaster,
28 Rutgers Women’s Rights Law Reporter 53 (2007)

Consent and Confidentiality Questions in Psychotherapeutic Work with MinorsNew Jersey Focus 6 (National Association of Social Workers, New Jersey Chapter Newsletter, Volume XV, Number 6, June 2006) (with Susan Esquilin, Ph.D.).

Kids Will Be Kids: Creating a Framework for Interviewing and Counseling Adolescent Clients, 79 Temple Law Review 357 (2006) (with Laura Cohen). Presented on March 17, 2006 as part of Symposium at Temple Law School.

Are Abused and Neglected Children in New Jersey Faring Any Better Since the Tragedies of 2003?, New Jersey Lawyer 9-15 (October 2005/No. 236).

Revisiting the Question of Whether Young Children in Child Protection Proceedings Should Be Represented By Lawyers, 32 Loy. U. Chi. L. J. 1 (2000).  Reprinted in Coursebook of the Practising Law Institute’s Fifth Annual Children’s Law Institute. Excerpts in Jean Koh Peters, Representing Children in Child Protection Proceedings, Second Edition (LexisNexis 2001).

Book Review: Noble Justice, Ignobly Applied: A Review of Neil Gilbert’s Welfare Justice:  Restoring Social Equity, 7 Hastings Women’s L. J. 345 (1996).

Rules of Confidentiality When Representing Children: The Need for a “Bright Line” Test, 64 Fordham L. R. 2053 (1996).  Written as a Response after participated in Conference on Ethical Issues in the Legal Representation of Children.        

Trying to Fit Square Pegs into Round Holes: The Need for a New Funding Scheme for Kinship Caregivers,  22 Fordham  Urb. L. J. 101 (1995).  Presented as part of a Symposium on Urban Welfare Reform in March 1995.  Reprinted in part in J. Nice and L. Trubeck, Cases and Materials on Poverty Law: Theory and Practice (West 1997).

D.C. Medical Consent Law:  Moving Toward Legal Recognition of Kinship Caregiving, 2 D.C. L. Rev. 277 (1994) (with Susan Waysdorf).


Courses Taught
  • Advanced Child Advocacy Clinic
  • Child Advocacy Clinic
  • Child Advocacy
  • Clinical Legal Education
  • Family Law
  • Immigration Law