Recipients of the Leadership Prize are leading lights in the field whose inspirational careers have served as beacons for the next generation of advocates. Their work has substantially improved the lives of our most vulnerable youth. Awardees are advocates who have changed the field of children’s rights through a lifetime of work on behalf of youth in the child welfare or justice systems or through a landmark contribution with enduring significance. 

The inaugural recipient, Juvenile Law Center Co-Founder Robert Schwartz, not only brought Juvenile Law Center to national and international prominence over the course of his 40 years of leadership, he also helped develop the nascent field of children’s law, inspiring thousands of children’s rights advocates working nationwide. Today, Juvenile Law Center is recognized both nationally and internationally for its expertise as a trailblazer in the field of children’s rights law.


Help build and sustain the field of child advocacy with Juvenile Law Center for years to come. Your generous support is more important now than ever, as we respond to new challenges and threats to many hard-won reforms for youth. Recognizing and honoring the trailblazers among us is critical to creating and sustaining a better world for our youth.

Sponsor levels start at $2,500 and can be submitted online up to $10,000. We suggest sponsorships above $10,000 be fulfilled offline. Sponsorship gifts of $10,000 and above may be also fulfilled across multiple years.

Click here for our sponsor form or call Rosie McNamara-Jones at (215) 625-0551 ext. 118 to set up a sponsorship.


Winners & Celebration

Congratulations to the 2018 Leadership Prize Winners!

Attorney Francis V. Guzman
Attorney Francis V. Guzman
Judge Steven C. Teske
Judge Steven C. Teske
Teen Vogue, represented by Allison Maloney, News and Politics Editor
Teen Vogue, represented by Allison Maloney, News and Policy Editor

Learn more about the 2018 Leadership Prize winners >>

Join us on May 9 at the National Constitution Center to honor their achievements and leadership! We're thrilled to welcome guests from across the country to support this year's winners! Solomon Jones will emcee the event, and our  program includes members of our youth advocacy programs (Juveniles for Justice and Youth Fostering Change) and special remarks by James Bell of the W. Haywood Burns Institute. Tickets are $50.

Get tickets >>


Nominations for the 2018 Leadership Prize are now closed. We will open nominations for our 2019 Prize in September 2018.

Questions? Contact us at

2018 Selection Committee

James Bell, W. Haywood Burns Institute, Chair 

Mary Lee Allen, Children’s Defense Fund, 2017 Leadership Prize Recipient for Child Welfare 

James Forman, Jr., Yale Law School

Vernon Francis, Dechert, LLP 

Riya Saha Shah, Juvenile Law Center 


In The News
Hugh E Dillon, Alison Burdo , Philadelphia Business Journal •
In The News
Mónica Marie Zorrilla , Billy Penn •