Who We Are

Faculty

Julie Biehl, Director, Clinical Associate Professor

Julie L. Biehl is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law and has served as Director of the Children and Family Justice Center since 2009. Her work focuses on the representation of indigent youth charged with crimes in juvenile court and at post-dispositional hearings, and on policy reform in the areas of juvenile sentencing, the over-incarceration of youth, mental health services for children, and the reintegration of children discharged from juvenile correctional facilities. In January 2010, Governor Quinn appointed Julie to the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission and she sits on its Executive and Communications Committees. In addition, Julie sits on the Juvenile Justice Initiative’s Board of Directors and leads Illinois’ John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Juvenile Indigent Action Network and Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Action Network.

Alison Flaum, Litigation Director, Clinical Associate Professor

Alison Flaum joined the Northwestern clinical faculty in 2005 and has taught in both the Center on Wrongful Convictions and the Children & Family Justice Center. Before coming to Northwestern, she was a trial attorney at Washington, D.C., Public Defender Service, a Prettyman Clinical Fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center Juvenile and Criminal Justice Clinics and a Skadden Fellow at the Urban Justice Center in New York City. Her areas of expertise include criminal and juvenile defense, post-conviction litigation and trial advocacy.

Carolyn E. Frazier, Clinical Assistant Professor

Carolyn Frazier has been a Clinical Assistant Professor of Law and staff attorney with the Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC) since 2004. A juvenile defense trial attorney, Carolyn primarily represents youth in delinquency proceedings on charges ranging from misdemeanors to first-degree murder, as well as transfer proceedings. Her additional areas of practice include post-conviction work and litigation regarding the collateral consequences of a conviction (e.g. criminal records expungement and removal of juveniles from the IL state sex offender registry.) Carolyn supervises second- and third-year law students on all of her cases through her clinical seminar in juvenile justice.

Shobha Mahadev, Project Director for the Illinois Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children, Clinical Assistant Professor

Shobha L. Mahadev is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at the Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC) at Northwestern University School of Law.  In that capacity, Shobha represents children, as well as adults convicted for offenses that occurred when they were under the age of 18, in trial, on appeal and in post-conviction proceedings, and supervises students working on those cases.  Shobha also serves as the project director for the Illinois Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children, overseeing policy and litigation strategy with respect to advocating for fair sentencing laws for children convicted of serious crimes.  In 2010, Shobha was part of a team of juvenile justice advocates that submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the petitioners in Graham v. Florida, in which the United States Supreme Court found unconstitutional the sentence of life without parole for juveniles in non-homicide cases.  Shobha was also the primary author of The Illinois Juvenile Defender Practice Notebook, a training manual for attorneys representing youth in court. Prior to joining the CFJC, Shobha was a litigation associate at a Chicago-based law firm and an Assistant Defender with the Office of the State Appellate Defender, First Judicial District, where she represented indigent clients convicted of criminal offenses on appeal, and argued before the Illinois Appellate Court and Illinois Supreme Court. 

Uzomaka Nzelibe
, Clinical Assistant Professor

Uzoamaka Emeka Nzelibe is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law, where she is also a Staff Attorney with the Children and Family Justice Center of the Bluhm Legal Clinic. In this position, she teaches a clinical course that focuses on the representation of women and children seeking asylum and other related forms of immigration relief in the United States. As part of this course, students represent live clients and grapple with many of the issues that experienced immigration attorneys deal with on a daily basis. Prior to joining the Bluhm Legal Clinic, Uzoamaka Nzelibe worked for three years at Patton Boggs LLP, where she was as an Associate in both the Employment Law Group and the Immigration Law Group and represented indigent clients seeking asylum and other types of relief on a pro bono basis. Upon her move to Chicago, Illinois, Uzoamaka Nzelibe worked as an Associate for Novack and Macey, a civil litigation boutique law firm and as a contract attorney for Bank One, N.A.

Staff & Fellows

Emmanuel Andre, Outreach and Community Relations Coordinator

Emmanuel Andre serves as the Outreach and Community Relations Coordinator for the Children and Family Justice Center. As an attorney, Mr. Andre has dedicated his life's work to restorative justice principles and interrupting the school to prison pipeline. 
In addition to his work with the Children and Family Justice Center, Mr. Andre runs his own private practice focused on criminal defense and representing youth in delinquency proceedings. 

Adolfo Gomez, Administrative Director 

Adolfo "Tito" Gomez originates from Chicago and is an alumnus of the Benchmark Institute in San Jose, California. He is responsible for the day-to-day management and coordination of the CFJC. Mr. Gomez provides administrative and legal support to CFJC attorneys and coordinates events and conferences. He also acts as the CFJC's interpreter for Spanish-speaking clients.

Stephanie Kollmann, Policy Director

Stephanie Kollmann manages research and reform projects benefiting the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission (the OJJDP State Advisory Group). Recent projects include contributions to the Commission's Youth Reentry Improvement Report, an intensive investigation into Illinois' juvenile parole system. Currently, she is managing an independent, comprehensive juvenile parole/aftercare reform effort inspired by the Reentry Report's findings.

She has also completed the Commission's "Raise the Age" report, released in February 2013. The report evaluates the impact that moving 17-year-old misdemeanants from adult to juvenile jurisdiction has had upon Illinois' juvenile justice system. It recommends a feasible plan to the Governor and General Assembly that will responsibly raise the default age of majority to 18 for criminal matters.

Scott Main, Clinical Fellow

Scott F. Main joined the Children and Family Justice Center in September of 2012 as a Clinical Fellow focused on litigation strategy for juveniles serving life without parole sentences. Before coming to Northwestern, he was an Assistant Appellate Defender at the Office of the State Appellate Defender where he represented indigent clients convicted of criminal offenses on appeal and argued before the Illinois Appellate Court and Illinois Supreme Court. He has taught legal writing and the Criminal Appeals Clinic at DePaul University College of Law. His areas of expertise include criminal defense and appellate advocacy.

Marjorie B. Moss, Social Work Supervisor, Staff Attorney

Marjorie B. Moss joined the CFJC in 2005, where she spearheaded the Juvenile Defender Resource Institute, which provides litigation support for Illinois juvenile defenders and the children they represent in juvenile and criminal court. In September 2012, Marjorie became the CFJC's social work supervisor. In this role, Marjorie works closely with CFJC clients to ensure that their educational, medical, social, and emotional needs are met.

Prior to her current role, Marjorie spent the earlier part of her career at the Defender Association of Philadelphia and at the National Juvenile Defender Center advocating for youth involved in the juvenile and criminal justice system. Marjorie received dual degrees in Social Work (MSW) and Law (JD) in 2001.

Lizzy Ullman, Clinical Fellow

Lizzy Ullman joined the Children and Family Justice Center in January 2015 as a Clinical Fellow focusing on collateral consequences and post-conviction work.  Lizzy manages the CFJC’s Project Off The Record wherein faculty and students provide representation to young adults seeking removal from the juvenile sex offender registry, works on juvenile expungement issues and assists the Illinois Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children in juvenile life without parole matters.  Lizzy believes it is important to provide holistic legal services to clients by advising them on both their criminal and civil matters.  Before coming to Northwestern, Lizzy represented low-income clients in civil matters including juvenile expungement, domestic violence and divorce, special education, evictions and child protection.  Lizzy was a Civitas Childlaw Fellow at Loyola University School of Law in Chicago.