After participating in a study abroad program in her undergraduate years, Justice for All Fellow Rachel Barr gained a passion for human rights, specifically women’s rights. She went to the London School of Economics, where she earned a master’s degree in human rights, followed by a move to D.C. to consult for a nonprofit.
Despite her interest in human rights work, she was unsure of her career path until her mentors convinced her to pursue a law degree.
“They all convinced me to go to law school to gain more skills to be able to carry out that work most effectively,” she said.
At the University of Michigan Law School, Rachel participated in the Pediatric Advocacy Clinic, a medical-legal partnership between the university and several community health organizations in the area. It was there that Rachel saw the impact that direct legal services could make in the lives of vulnerable children.
“I had spent all of this time in graduate school learning about these international documents and how they provide a framework for how human rights should be protected in different countries,” she said. “By going to Michigan Law and being in this clinic, I got to see how direct legal services could be used to ensure that a child had their human rights to an education protected.”
As a Justice for All Fellow at the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, Rachel continues to work in child education advocacy through Child HeLP, a medical-legal partnership between Cincinnati Children’s primary care centers and legal aid. When Cincinnati Children’s behavioral health psychologists refer kids and families to legal aid, Rachel steps in to help with legal services related to education and benefits.
“A lot of kids with behavioral health problems need more support in school or disciplinary proceedings in school,” she said.
Rachel hopes that her fellowship will help curb inequities while keeping kids safe and healthy.
“One of my overall goals is to help keep kids in school and make sure they have the resources they need to succeed,” she said.
The Foundation funds new attorneys with a passion for public service through Justice for All Fellowships to address urgent legal problems facing everyday Ohioans. Learn more.