B.A., 1987, George Washington University, Columbian College
J.D., 1991, The American University, Washington College of Law
Member, California State Bar
Joined Southwestern: 2019
Leslie Starr Heimov, Executive Director, has been with the Children's Law Center of California (CLC) since 1992. She began her career at CLC as a staff attorney, providing direct representation to parents and children in the dependency system, and later moved to a supervising attorney position. From 2004- 2007 Ms. Heimov served as CLC’s Policy Director, responsible for CLC's legislative and policy agenda, including drafting legislation and working closely with elected officials, their staff, and other advocates to support important legislative reforms in the child welfare arena.
Ms. Heimov is a member of The California Judicial Council Family and Juvenile Law Committee, The Los Angeles County Education Coordinating Council, the California Child Welfare Council and is the co-chair, of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Action Team. She sits on the R.I.S.E. High Leadership Council, the Board of Regents of the DaVinci Schools and is a founding member of the Family Justice Initiative. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Counsel for Children since 2006 and is currently the serving as the Vice President of the NACC Board.
Ms. Heimov previously served on the California Supreme Court Chief Justice’s Commission on the Futures of California’s Court, the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (H.E.A.T.) Blue Ribbon Panel, the National Advisory Board of the Children's Law Office Project and was a founding member and co-chair of the Los Angeles County Pregnant and Parenting Teens Workgroup and a founding member of the Task Force to End Homophobia in Foster Care.
Ms. Heimov has worked tirelessly to improve outcomes for children in foster care and to promote best practices in the representation of children and their families in the child welfare system. She is considered an expert in the child welfare field. She has served a trial skills instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and the Juvenile Law Society, and regularly presents to judicial officers, attorneys, social workers, caregivers and law students on a multitude of topics related to the representation of abused and neglected children.
During her tenure as Executive Director, CLC expanded its programs to include representation of children in Sacramento and Placer counties as well as in Los Angeles and CLC recognized a 49% per attorney caseload reduction. In 2009 CLC received the American Bar Association’s Hodson Award for Public Service. Ms. Heimov was honored by SEIU Local 721 as a 2012 “Champion for Children” and by the California Legislature as a 2012 “Woman of Distinction.” In 2013 she was awarded a Durfee Sabbatical. Ms. Heimov is also a member of the R.I.S.E. High Team, which in September of 2016 was one of 10 high schools nationwide selected by Lorene Powell Jobs and the Emerson foundation to be an XQ Superschool.
"Southwestern's Children and the Law class gives students a unique opportunity to learn about child welfare law, real-time emerging issues and cutting-edge ideas for system reform. I am excited to be able to share the perspectives and experiences of the attorneys working today in California's dependency courts with tomorrow's practitioners."