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Mitchell, L. Kate

Clinical Fellow
Pediatric Advocacy Clinic

3016 South Hall

Professor Kate Mitchell joined the Pediatric Advocacy Clinic in July 2014 as a clinical teaching fellow. She previously served as the legal director of the Toledo Medical Legal Partnership for Children (MLPC) at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality and Legal Aid of Western Ohio in Toledo, Ohio. While with MLPC, she provided training to pediatric medical providers on patient advocacy and social determinants of health, provided legal advocacy to children in poverty and their families, and engaged in systemic policy reform initiatives at the local and state levels. Her primary areas of focus were special education, school discipline, and access to health care. Professor Mitchell also worked as a staff attorney with the Legal Assistance Foundation in Chicago for three years immediately following law school and then joined the staff of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana (JJPL) in New Orleans. At JJPL she worked on juvenile prison condition litigation, represented youth in disposition modification and delinquency proceedings, and engaged in systemic reform initiatives related to improving juvenile indigent defense services and strengthening juvenile competency standards. After Hurricane Katrina, Professor Mitchell worked as a Kramer Fellow at The Public Law Center at Tulane University School of Law focusing on economic and housing revitalization efforts in New Orleans.

Professor Mitchell has presented at local, state, and national conferences on a variety of topics including juvenile competency standards, special education, collaborative interdisciplinary advocacy, and Medicaid regulations impacting child access to healthcare. Her primary research interests relate to the intersection of poverty, health, and legal advocacy, interdisciplinary approaches to advocacy, and the impact of school exclusionary practices on children with disabilities. Professor Mitchell received her BA in sociology, magna cum laude, from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, and her JD, cum laude, from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. She is admitted to practice law in Illinois, Louisiana, Ohio, and Michigan.

Recent Publications

"'We Can't Tolerate That Behavior in This School!' The Consequences of Excluding Children with Behavioral Health Conditions and the Limits of the Law." N. Y. U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 41 (Forthcoming).

The Louisiana Juvenile Defender Trial Practice Manual, published in 2007 by the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana and the Southern Juvenile Defender Center, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.​

Contributing researcher and writer, Principles in Practice: Promoting Accountability, Safety and Fairness in Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings, by the National Juvenile Defender Center in cooperation with the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana and the Southern Juvenile Defender Center, and produced by the Southern Poverty Law Center. ​


Presented "Accommodating Diabetes in School" (with Jacinta Florek), University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital Diabetes Clinic School Program, Washtenaw Intermediate School District, Ann Arbor, November 2016.

Presented "Manifestation Determination Reviews (MDRs): Did the Disability Cause the Behavior?", National Business Institute Conference: Special Education: The Ultimate Guide, Toledo, Ohio, November 2016.

Co-presented "Medicaid for Children: What is EPSDT and What Does it Cover?," Orthotics and Prosthetics Center, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, May 2016.​

Presented "The Rights of Students in School Disciplinary Proceedings: Enhanced Protections Under the IDEA and Section 504," C.S. Mott Children's Hospital Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, May 2016.​

Presented​ "Child Poverty, Health, and Public Benefits," Pediatric Resident Didactic Talk, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, March 2016.
Co-presented "Integrating Legal Advocacy into Health Care Settings," Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit Training, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, October 2015.​

Presented "Child Poverty, Health, and EPSDT" at the Michigan Poverty Law Project Roadshow, Okemos, Michigan, October 2015.

Co-presented "Case Studies in Special Education Law" to the Department of Pediatric Rehabilitative Medicine, Ann Arbor, July 2015.​ ​

Co-Presented "Practicing Law Upstream: Transforming Legal Care" at the 10th Anniversary Medical-Legal Partnership Summit, McClean, Virginia, April 2015. ​

Co-presented "Medicaid for Children: EPSDT" for the Pediatric Residency Conference series, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, January 2015.

Co-presented "Social Determinants of Health and Patient Advocacy" to the Program on Global Health and Disparities, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, September 2014. ​