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Kay, Joshua

Clinical Assistant Professor of Law
Veterans Legal Clinic
Child Advocacy Law Clinic

3058 South Hall
Professor Joshua B. Kay, '08, is a clinical assistant professor of law and director of the Veterans Legal Clinic. He also has taught extensively in the Child Advocacy Law Clinic and Child Welfare Appellate Clinic. Professor Kay has litigated numerous cases in trial courts, the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the Michigan Supreme Court. His primary interests center around the intersection of disability and various civil legal issues, including family law and child protection. He 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 Michigan Law, he served as an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Medical School, where he studied the cognitive and developmental impacts of pediatric traumatic brain injury 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. After law school, Professor Kay 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

"The Legal Response to Child Abuse and Neglect." In The APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment. 4th ed., edited by B. Klika and J. Conte. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, Forthcoming.

Co-author. "Legal Issues in Child Welfare Cases Involving Children with Disabilities." F. Vandervort, co-author. In Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect in Children with Disabilities, edited by V. Palusci. Forthcoming.

"Mental Health Evaluations in Child Welfare Settings." In Child Welfare Law and Practice. 3rd ed., edited by D. N. Duquette, V. S. Sankaran, and A. M. Haralambie. Denver: Bradford Publishing, 2016.

"Representing Parents with Disabilities." In Representing Parents in Child Welfare Cases, edited by V. S. Sankaran and M. Guggenheim, 253-68. Chicago: ABA Books, 2015.


Delivered the 13th Annual Wells Lecture, "The Americans with Disabilities Act: Legal and Practical Applications in Child Welfare Proceedings," Capital University Law School, Columbus, February 2017.

Co-facilitated the Family Defense Leadership Workshop with Vivek Sankaran and Matthew Fraidin, Ann Arbor, June 2016.

Co-led the discussion group, "Representing Parents with Disabilities," at the ABA's 4th National Parent Attorney Conference, Washington, D.C., July 2015.

Co-presented the workshop, "Using the Appellate Process to Effect Systemic Change," at the ABA's 4th National Parent Attorney Conference, Washington, D.C., July 2015. ​

Presented "Child Protection Cases Involving Parents with Disabilities" at the 34th International Congress on Law and Mental Health, Vienna, Austria, July 2015.

Presented the keynote address, "What Parents' Attorneys Can Do to Ensure Quality Mental Health Evaluations for Their Clients," at the Quality Parent Representation in CHIPs Cases training conference, William Mitchell School of Law and the Minnesota Children's Justice Initiative, St. Paul, Minnesota, October 2014.

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. ​