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Kay, Joshua

Clinical Assistant Professor of Law
Child Advocacy Law Clinic

3058 South Hall

Joshua B. Kay is a clinical assistant professor of law in the Child Advocacy Law Clinic, Child Welfare Appellate Clinic, and the Domestic Relations Mediation Clinic. His primary interests include examining how legal requirements are put into practice in the field in child abuse and neglect cases, how the child protection system addresses the needs of parents and children with disabilities, and how mental health information is used and understood by child welfare agency and judicial personnel. He has conducted numerous trainings nationwide for child welfare workers, judges, and attorneys representing parents and children.

Prof. Kay earned his BA with high honors and Phi Beta Kappa from Oberlin College, where he received the R.H. Stetson Award in Psychology and Psychobiology. He then earned his MA and PhD in psychology from the University of Michigan, where he was a Regents' Fellow. Prior to earning his JD, cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School, he served as an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Medical School, where he studied the effects of pediatric disability and was an attending psychologist and member of the ethics committee at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. He also taught courses in clinical assessment and supervised the clinical work of graduate students in the Department of Psychology. During law school, Prof. Kay received the International Achievement Summit Award and the Craig Spangenberg Oral Advocacy Award. After law school, he joined Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service as a Skadden Fellow, receiving a Certificate of Appreciation for his representation of parents with disabilities in child welfare matters from the University of Michigan Council for Disability Concerns.

Recent Publications

"Representing Parents with Severe Mental Illness in Child Welfare Cases." Mich. Child Welfare L. J. 14, no. 2 (2012): 44-54.
Full Text: WWW

"Psychological Evaluation of Parenting Capacity in Child Welfare Proceedings." K. L. Rosenblum, co-author. Mich. Child Welfare L. J. 14, no. 2 (2012): 5-10.
Full Text: WWW

"Representing Parents with Disabilities in Child Protection Proceedings." Mich. Child Welfare L. J. 13, no. 1 (2009): 27-36.
Full Text: WWW


Presented "The Child Welfare Legal Update" and, with Prof. Vivek Sankaran, "How to Effectively Review the Record for Legal Error—Common Issues" at a training for child welfare attorneys sponsored by the Michigan State Court Administrative Office, February 2014. ​​

Presented "The Problems and Possibilities of Psychological Evaluations in Child Protection" at a training for Genesee County child welfare attorneys, February 2014. ​

Presented "Understanding and Using Psychological Assessments for Better Case Planning and Best Interest Determinations" at a training for Lansing child welfare attorneys, January 2014. ​

Presented "Effective Courtroom Presentation for Mental Health Professionals" at a staff training for Genesee County Health Services, January 2014. ​

Faculty member for trial advocacy training for the child welfare attorney at Rutgers University-Camden School of Law, sponsored by the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, July 2013.​

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