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Kay, Joshua

Clinical Assistant Professor of Law
Child Advocacy Law Clinic

3058 South Hall

Professor Joshua B. Kay, '08, is a clinical assistant professor of law in the Child Advocacy Law Clinic. He also has taught in the Child Welfare Appellate Clinic. Professor Kay has litigated numerous child abuse and neglect cases in trial courts, the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the Michigan Supreme Court. His primary interests center around the intersection of disability law and child protection law. 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

"Advocacy Approaches to Meet the Needs of Children with Disabilities in Child Protection Proceedings." (Work in Progress).

"Applying the Americans with Disabilities Act in Child Protection Proceedings." Cap. U. L. Rev. (Forthcoming).

"The Legal Response to Child Abuse and Neglect." In The APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment. 4th ed., edited by B. Klika and J. Conte, 182-99. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 2017.

"Legal Issues in Child Welfare Cases Involving Children with Disabilities." F. Vandervort, co-author. In Child Abuse: Children with Disabilities, edited by V. J. Palusci et al., 213-34. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2017.

"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, Colo.: Bradford Publishing Co., 2016.

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


Presented "The ADA and Mental Health Evaluations" at the Family Court Update 2017, New York State Defenders Association, Rochester, New York, September 2017.

Presented "The Top 20 Cases That All Child Welfare Professionals Should Know" at the Wayne Attorneys Leadership Committee training session, August 2017.

Presented "Accommodating Parents with Disabilities in the Child Protection System" at the Michigan State Court Administrative Office webinar, July 2017.

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. ​