Diane L. Redleaf, a family defense pioneer
Nationally-known leaders have called Diane L. Redleaf the “conscience of the child welfare system,” the driving force behind creating a “better, fairer child welfare system” and “the people’s lawyer.” A civil rights lawyer for families in the child welfare system since she settled in Chicago in 1979 after graduating from Stanford Law School, Diane has played a leading role in hundreds of important cases on behalf of families, with over 60 published court opinions. She has also led legislative efforts that have benefited millions of children and families. Her litigation and legislative advocacy has created due process remedies for wrongly accused family members and created social service and housing support models for families throughout the United States.
Ms. Redleaf has received prestigious awards for her role in mentoring dozens of other child welfare and public interest law leaders, including the Chicago Bar Association Alliance for Women Founder's Award (2014) and the Carleton College Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award (2016), to name just a few.
Through her work as co-chair of United Family Advocacy and her work at Family Defense Consulting, Diane continues the powerful advocacy she has done throughout her distinguished legal career, including as the Founder (in 2005) and the long-time Executive Director/Legal Director of the Family Defense Center. Diane left her position as the Legal Director of the Family Defense Center on October 31, 2017, after stepping down as its Executive Director in July 2016.