Who We Are

Our Faculty

For faculty biographies and contact information, please follow links to faculty pages.

Sean Kennedy 
Kaplan & Feldman Executive Director
Associate Clinical Professor

BA, cum laude, Loyola Marymount University 
JD, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

Sean Kennedy

 

 

 

Christopher Hawthorne
Clinical Director, Juvenile Innocence and Fair Sentencing Clinic

BA, Columbia University 
JD, magna cum laude, Loyola Law School, Order of the Coif 

 

 

  

 

 

Michael Smith
Director, Youth Justice Education Clinic

BA, (Hons.) University of Sussex, United Kingdom
JD, University of Southern California School of Law

 

 

 

 

Samantha Buckingham
Director, Juvenile Justice Clinic

BA, University of Virginia
JD, Stanford Law School

 

 

Our Staff

 

 

Vanessa Alvarez
Social Worker, Juvenile Justice Clinic


MSW, California State University, Dominguez Hills
BA, University of Southern California

Vanessa Alvarez received her B.A from the University of Southern California in 2009 and subsequently  began working as a counselor for foster youth in Orange County. That is where she discovered her passion for working with at-risk youth. She then continued on to a case manager position in East LA where she guided and coached youth to pursue higher education. Vanessa has a Master’s in Social Work from the California State University, Dominguez Hills. As a full time student, she continued working with youth as a Foster Care Social Worker. After her first year in graduate school Vanessawas selected as one of seven students to be awarded a stipend from the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health. This stipend helped her on a path to working as a Mental Health Therapist for SHIELD’s for Families where she worked with children, adolescents, families, and adult women with dual diagnoses. Throughout her time at SHIELDs, Vanessa was trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Functional Family Therapy which she has used in her practice. She has successfully completed the required 3200 clinical hours and will soon be deemed by the Board of Behavioral Sciences to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. 
 
Christina Campbell
CJLP Equal Justice Works Fellow
 
JD, Loyola Law School
BA, Georgetown University

Since 2015, Christina Camobell has worked in partnership with the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy and the Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. Her project is designed to protect the education rights of youth involved in the juvenile justice system within Los Angeles.  Her goal is to protect education rights as a means of reducing recidivism and promoting successful reentry and better life opportunities for these youth.  Specifically, Christina will offer direct representation to special education youth currently detained, in order to ensure they receive the services they need.  She will also offer representation to youth transitioning out of detention so they may enroll in high-achieving schools instead of being forced into low-achieving, alternative schools.  Through her project, Christina will work to develop a network of individuals at high-achieving schools in Los Angeles that will assist court-involved youth with enrollment.  Lastly, Christina will develop informative materials to distribute amongst court-involved youth and their families, informing them on their education rights.

  

Brooke Harris
Staff Attorney, Juvenile Justice Clinic

JD, UC Davis King Hall School of Law
BA, Colby College

Brooke Harris comes to the Juvenile Justice Clinic from a fellowship with the National Juvenile Defender Center as a Post-Disposition Reentry Attorney, focused on the civil legal needs of youth reentering the community after a juvenile adjudication. Prior to her fellowship, she spent nearly five years as a trial attorney with the Contra Costa County (California) Public Defender’s Office. As a public defender, she represented youth and adults charged with felony offenses at all stages of criminal proceedings. During law school she was a clinical student at both the UC Davis Prison Law Clinic, where she represented a client convicted of second degree murder seeking appeal of his denial of parole, and at the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic, where she won withholding of deportation for a transgender client seeking asylum in the United States. She has also worked on issues of leadership development through her role of Board Chair at YES Nature to Neighborhoods, a nonprofit in Richmond, CA that immerses underserved youth and families in nature, providing pathways for residents to become leaders in their community.

 

Susan Harbert
Staff Attorney, Juvenile Innocence and Fair Sentencing Clinic

JD, Loyola Law School
BA, University of California

Susan Harbert served as special legislative counsel and staff attorney to the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy at Loyola Law School since2006.  Since 2012 she has worked primarily in the Juvenile Innocence and Fair Sentencing clinic.  Harbert previously was executive vice president of series development for MGM Television from 1989 to 1992 and worked for ABC Entertainment as a director of development and executive producer for movies for television from 1985 to 1989.  In 1992, Harbert organized delegate caucuses for California’s 52 congressional districts for President Clinton’s campaign and in 1996 was a board member of the Finance committee for President Clinton’s re-election. She has been appointed to the State Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency which serves the Governor and Legislature by promoting effective juvenile justice policies and programming.  She also sits on the Pathways Committee of United Friends of the Children (UFC), which oversees UFC’s transitional housing program for former foster youth.  

Efty Sharony
Adjunct Professor & Senior Mitigation Specialist, Juvenile Innocence and Fair Sentencing Clinic

MSW, Columbia University
BA, University of California, Santa Cruz

Efty Sharony is the Senior Mitigation Specialist and social worker for the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy, where she also teaches as adjunct faculty in the Juvenile Innocence and Fair Sentencing Clinic. Since 1998, she has dedicated her career to working with incarcerated youth and adults. She was a key player in the expansion and success of The Beat Within publication and program, a weekly publication of writing and art for and by incarcerated youth in the Bay Area.  During her Master's program she interned at a domestic violence shelter and also with the Office of the Appellate Defender, working with clients serving lengthy sentences.  Prior to CJLP she recently as a forensic social worker in the Juvenile Rights Division of Legal Aid in Brooklyn.  She has been appointed as  both a Mitigation Expert  and Juvenile Gang expert on capital cases, special circumstance juvenile cases, and other criminal cases in LA County.