Diana Howat ’22
Too often, court-involvement creates barriers to education for young people. As a Skadden Fellow with the EdLaw Project, Diana Howat is advocating for young people who sit at the intersection of the education and court systems. “Court involvement creates barriers to education for young people and the gap in education services is magnified for students of color,” says Diana. “I’m working with clients to identify their goals and next steps. Then, we can use creative advocacy to leverage education services to help them achieve those goals.”
Diana earned a degree in youth justice and advocacy as an undergraduate at Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development. “Growing up in Boston, I saw how the public school system did a very good job supporting some students, while completely failing to meet the needs of others. At the EdLaw Project, I will be advocating for older, court-involved students to get the education services they are entitled to.” she says.
Citizens for Juvenile Justice, Boston, Massachusetts
In her first co-op, Diana drafted a research brief on trends in the Massachusetts juvenile legal system between 2000 and 2021, with a focus on potential drivers of the decrease in the number of young people coming into contact with the system, and on worsening racial and ethnic disparities.
- Advanced Criminal Procedure
- Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline
- Education Law
- Juvenile Law
The EdLaw Project, Boston, Massachusetts
At the EdLaw Project, an initiative of the Youth Advocacy Foundation and the Committee for Public Counsel Services’ Children and Family Law Program and Youth Advocacy Division, Diana researched legal issues related to education access and helped create an online tool to support families filing complaints with the Massachusetts Department of Education.
Diana represented her client in a parole hearing. The Prisoners’ Rights Cinic’s model of representation allowed her to work closely with the client throughout the semester, and thoroughly prepare for the hearing with the client. He was ultimately granted parole.
Diana provided assistance and guidance to students taking the first-year Property Law course.
Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts
Inspired by her experience with the law school’s Prisoners’ Rights Clinic, Diana picked this co-op to advocate for prisoners’ rights by supporting Prisoners’ Legal Services’ direct advocacy, litigation and legislative advocacy efforts.