Barton Child Law and Policy Center

Faculty, Fellows & Staff

Meet the Barton Center team. Barton Center faculty, fellows, and staff play a pivotal role in advancing the field of children’s rights and shaping the minds of the next generation of child advocates. Explore the profiles of our faculty, fellows, and staff to get to know us better!

Melissa Carter

Melissa Carter is the Executive Director of the Barton Child Law and Policy Center. Her work focuses on the legal rights and interests of children and youth involved with the juvenile court, child welfare, and juvenile justice systems. She has represented the interests of abused, neglected, and court-involved children in policy and legislative matters at the local, state, and federal levels, contributing to the drafting and passage of dozens of pieces of legislation, and in litigation through amicus curiae briefs submitted to the Supreme Court of Georgia and Georgia Court of Appeals. She is a frequent presenter on topics of juvenile law, has testified before several legislative and administrative bodies, and her work is covered extensively by the media.

Carter earned both a BS in psychology, summa cum laude, and a JD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since law school, Professor Carter has served in various child law and policy positions, including a gubernatorial appointment as the state’s child welfare system ombudsman.

At Emory, Carter has led efforts to rewrite the state’s Juvenile Code, educated judges on various juvenile law and systemic reform issues, and advised state officials on the administration of psychotropic medications to children in foster care. She has also been appointed to statewide taskforces charged with making recommendations for improvements to the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

In addition to this work, Carter has given lectures and presentations on a wide variety of juvenile law issues around the country. She serves as a member of the board of several child advocacy nonprofit organizations, including Voices for Georgia’s Children, and sits on the advisory committee of the Supreme Court of Georgia Committee on Justice for Children. Carter directs the Barton Center’s public policy and legislative advocacy clinics and teaches Child Welfare Law and Policy.

Director, barton juvenile defender clinic

Randee Waldman

Randee J. Waldman serves as the Director of the Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic at Emory University School of Law. In this role, she supervises law students in holistic representation of young people charged with delinquent and status offenses. In addition to representing these clients in their juvenile court cases, she and her students also represent them in special education proceedings, school suspension proceedings, and other forums according to the clients’ needs. Waldman engages in policy work related to juvenile justice issues and teaches courses in juvenile justice and education law.

Prior to joining the Juvenile Defender Clinic in 2006, Waldman practiced in New York for nine years. She began her legal career as a litigation associate at the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton. She then worked for almost six years as a senior attorney at Advocates for Children of New York, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring quality and equal public education services for New York City’s most vulnerable students. While at Advocates for Children, Waldman represented parents and students to obtain appropriate special education services for students with disabilities, represented students in school discipline proceedings, served as co-counsel in several impact litigation cases in federal court, and directed the pro bono and law student intern programs.

Waldman is a widely respected trainer, speaker, and writer. She is a NITA certified trial skills trainer and a certified trainer for the National Juvenile Defender Center’s Juvenile Training Immersion Program.  Professor Waldman is co-director of the Advisory Council for the Southern Juvenile Defender Center and Chair of the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She also serves on the advisory council for PARTNERS for Equity in Child and Adolescent Health, and the executive committee of the Child Protection and Advocacy Section of the State Bar of Georgia. 

Stephen Reba

Co-Director, Appeal for youth clinc

Stephen Reba

Stephen Reba came to Emory in 2009 as the Ford & Harrison Equal Justice Works Fellow in the Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic. During his EJW Fellowship, Reba innovated and directed a project, Appeal for Youth.

The success of that project provided a strong foundation for its further evolution into the newest clinical offering of the Barton Center. As director of the Appeal for Youth Clinic, Reba supervises law students in their appellate representation of youthful offenders in Georgia’s juvenile and criminal justice systems.

Before coming to Emory, Reba served as a staff attorney for the Supreme Court of Georgia Committee on Justice for Children, a federally funded project aimed at improving the process for civil child abuse and neglect cases. At Justice for Children, he managed the implementation of a juvenile court process system and was part of a case review effort to learn best practices for areas targeted in Georgia’s Child and Family Services Review.

Co-director, appeal for youth clinic

Christopher Church

Christopher came to Emory in 2023 as a Senior Clinical Fellow. Christopher co-directs the Appeal For Youth Clinic with Stephen Reba, and supervises students as they support appellate representation to protect the constitutional rights of children and parents through dependency appeals.

Christopher is a Senior Director for Casey Family Programs, the nation’s largest private operating foundation focused on safely reducing the need for foster care and Building Communities of Hope. He is also an Academic Affiliate with the CHAMPS Clinic at the University of South Carolina School of Law, a pediatric medical-legal partnership. Christopher was previously a Staff Attorney for the CHAMPS Clinic and served as a consultant to several national child welfare organizations. He began his career as Managing Attorney for the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Committee on Justice for Children. 

Emilie Cook

Preventive legal advocacy fellow

Emilie Cook joined the Barton Child Law & Policy Center in 2022 as the Preventive Legal Advocacy Fellow. With the support of the Barton Center and Casey Family Programs, Emilie leads the Preventive Legal Advocacy / Pre-Petition National Cohort (PLA/PP) and works with multi-disciplinary teams across the country to promote and support preventive legal advocacy and pre-petition programs that engage in the provision of high quality legal advocacy and upstream support services to promote the social determinants of health and address the effects of poverty, systemic racism, and other forms of discrimination and oppression that harm families and lead to unnecessary child welfare system involvement.

Before joining the Barton Center in 2022, Emilie spent seven years representing parents and children in dependency proceedings in rural Georgia, and served as circuit guardian ad litem for the Ocmulgee Juvenile Court and Ocmulgee Family Drug Treatment Court Panels. Emilie is a passionate proponent of preventive legal advocacy and its capacity to improve outcomes for children and families.

Moriah Windus

juvenile defender clinic fellow

headshot of Moriah Windus

Moriah Windus joined the Barton Center in 2023 as a Juvenile Defender Clinic Fellow. Moriah is passionate about bridging juvenile justice gaps in the rural South and is originally from Ozark, Alabama. Moriah earned her J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law. At Vanderbilt Law School Moriah worked as a student attorney for the Youth Opportunity Clinic where she gained invaluable exposure to the legal challenges facing youth in Tennessee. Moriah also completed multiple administrative law internships during her time in law school and interned with the Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Public Defenders for the Middle District of Tennessee. Prior to Law School, Moriah attended Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, where she earned her B.A. in Philosophy. During her tenure in college Moriah was a collegiate policy debater and qualified twice to the National Debate Tournament.

Shreeca Lott

program coordinator

Shreeca Lott

Shree’ca Lott joined Emory Law in 2021 and was appointed program coordinator for Barton Child Law and the Turner Environmental Law and Policy Center in May 2023. She holds a degree in Business Administration from Georgia State University and plans to pursue further studies. 

With over eight years of experience in higher education, Shree’ca is passionate about helping others and making a positive impact on her community. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with loved ones. Shree’ca is also a dedicated volunteer who enjoys giving back to her community whenever possible. She is grateful for the opportunity to work in a role that enables her to make a positive difference in the world and is committed to doing so for as long as possible.

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