UM Law Professor Wins Children’s Advocacy Award

Image of Visiting Clinical Professor of Law David Calder
Associate Clinical Professor David Calder

David Calder, clinical professor at the University of Mississippi School of Law, recently received the “Champions for Children” Award from Children’s Advocacy Centers for Mississippi. He was recognized at the Children’s Advocacy Centers for Mississippi’s annual conference for the work he has done throughout the state.

“I am very grateful and humbled to receive this recognition from the Child Advocacy Centers of Mississippi, which have greatly improved the procedures and resources available to protect abused children in our state,” said Calder. “The Centers have increased public education about the problem of child abuse, and done an excellent job of fostering cooperation and communication among professionals in various disciplines who protect the welfare of our children. I look forward to the privilege of continuing to work with the Centers in their efforts to end child abuse in this state.”

Calder is the founding director of the University of Mississippi Law School Child Advocacy Clinic. He also directed the Consumer Clinic and the Domestic Violence Clinic. Since 1994, Calder has taught and mentored several hundred students to be advocates for children as well as given them the tools they need to be excellent guardians ad litem.

“David Calder is one of the most thorough attorneys and dedicated advocates for the rights of children I have ever known,” said Deborah Bell, interim dean of the law school. “His dedication to children and families is enhanced with his commitment to excellence in practice. He has made a lasting difference in the lives of children in Mississippi.”

In addition to teaching future advocates, Calder has also provided countless hours of research and drafting to improve state laws and rules affecting cases involving children. His knowledge and experience was critical to the work of the Termination of Parental Rights Study Group’s revision of the TPR law, which was signed by Governor Phil Bryant on April 16, 2016. He is now focused on helping the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi to draft Forensic Interviewing legislation and working on the passage of this law.

Calder received his B.A. in religion from Mississippi College in 1975, and a J.D. from the University of Mississippi in 1986, where he was a member of the Mississippi Law Journal and received the Mississippi Law Institute Scholarship. After law school, he served as a law clerk for U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerry A. Davis before entering private practice. In 2014, he was named as one of the top ten finalists for the Mississippi Business Journal’s Lawyer of the Year.