Prof. Vivek S. Sankaran is a clinical professor of law in the Child Advocacy Law Clinic and director of the Detroit Center for Family Advocacy. Prof. Sankaran's research and policy interests center on improving outcomes for children in child abuse and neglect cases by empowering parents and strengthening due process protections in the child welfare system. Prof. Sankaran sits on the Steering Committee of the ABA National Project to Improve Representation for Parents Involved in the Child Welfare System and is a member of the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty. He has litigated numerous cases on behalf of parents before the Michigan Supreme Court. He also has authored scholarly pieces and practical resource guides to assist professionals working with parents in the system and regularly conducts national and statewide training on these issues. He also was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to the Child Abuse Prevention Board.
Prof. Sankaran earned his BA, magna cum laude, from the College of William and Mary. He earned his JD, cum laude, from Michigan Law, where he was an associate editor of the Michigan Law Review. After law school, he joined The Children's Law Center (CLC) as a Skadden Fellow and became a permanent staff attorney with the CLC in September 2003. Prof. Sankaran was named the 2004 Michigan Law School Public Interest Alumni of the Year and, in 2006, was certified as a child welfare specialist by the National Association of Counsel for Children. In 2011, he was named the Parent Attorney of the Year by the Michigan Foster Care Review Board.