Miami Law Associate Professor of Clinical Legal Education and Director of the Children & Youth Law Clinic Bernard Perlmutter will receive the Daily Business Review's Sookie Williams Outstanding Service to the Legal Community Award at the Dade County Bar Association's 95th anniversary reception and dinner this Friday, June 3. The award recognizes exemplary service to the legal community of Miami-Dade County.
Sookie Williams is a longtime executive at the Daily Business Review, and the newspaper's vice president of Miami legal and court relations. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey, who led a statewide task force on residential mortgage foreclosures, was last year's recipient.
In addition to his teaching duties at the Children & Youth Law Clinic, Professor Perlmutter teaches classes in Children and the Law, Family Law, Transnational Family Law, and New Directions in Lawyering: Interviewing, Counseling and Attorney-Client Relational Skills.
At the Clinic, Professor Perlmutter trains and supervises second- and third-year law students who handle cases involving abused, abandoned and neglected children and adolescents in a variety of legal proceedings, including dependency and foster care, delinquency, public benefits, health care, mental health, disability, education and immigration, in addition to appellate, legislative and administrative advocacy and law reform litigation.
He has litigated numerous federal and state court class action lawsuits seeking to reform Florida's foster care system. He has submitted amicus curiae briefs in a number of cases of national significance, including Roper v. Simmons (juvenile death penalty), GAL v. S.C. (foster child's right to medical records privacy), DCF v. Statewide Advocacy Council (advocacy council's access to confidential records held by Department of Children & Families), and cases affecting older foster children, immigrant children and disabled children.
Professor Perlmutter has published law review articles on the due process rights of foster children facing commitment to psychiatric facilities, the use of therapeutic jurisprudence in clinical legal education, and the constitutionality of shackling children in juvenile court. He was appointed to the Florida Bar Commission on the Legal Needs of Children, and has served on the Boards of Directors of Florida's Children First, the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, and the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) National Children's Law Office Project Advisory Board. He has also served on the Florida Bar Legal Needs of Children Committee, Juvenile Court Rules Committee, and the Public Interest Law Section Legal Needs of Children Committee. He currently chairs the Florida Bar Children's Law Board Certification Standards Committee.