The Children’s Law Project of Hawaiʻi

A non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to the rights of court-involved youth on Hawaiʻi Island

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If you are or know of a child or youth on Hawaiʻi Island who is in dependency, delinquency or family court who needs legal representation please get in touch with us

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CLPHI works to improve the lives of Hawaiʻi Island’s most vulnerable children and youth through multi-disciplinary, independent, and informed advocacy. Scoll down for more.

News and Updates


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Our Mission

The Children’s Law Project of Hawaiʻi is a non-profit public interest law firm devoted to providing legal advocacy services to children island-wide. Our advocacy goes beyond representing children in foster custody and juvenile law violator cases. We provide our court-involved clients, as well as those in danger of becoming court-involved, with holistic legal advocacy in a variety of other areas including special education, behavioral accommodation in school, early developmental intervention, mental health services, and disability benefit matters.



The Children’s Law Project of Hawai‘i seeks to go beyond the traditional scope of legal representation and provide our young clients with advocacy in a wide range of areas, including early childhood interventions, special education, mental health services, and disability benefits. Through a more expansive approach to meeting these children’s needs, we believe they will spend less time under the court’s jurisdiction and will be less likely to become court-involved, and more likely to succeed, as adults.

Juvenile Justice

We defend our clients’ interests in both juvenile law violator and juvenile status offense matters.  By providing them with high-quality representation, with an eye towards building their social capital and meeting their needs beyond juvenile probation, our services help our clients become healthy and successful adults.


As Guardians ad Litem for children in foster custody, we take a broad view of our young client’s needs.  By following best practices and advocating for trauma-informed care, we seek to connect our clients with the services they need to heal from their experiences.  We strive to give our clients a voice and empower them to participate in the child protective services process.

Family Court

As Guardians ad Litem in contested custody, divorce, and civil order for protection matters, we fight to ensure that our clients’ best interests are met.  As advocates for children, we investigate the circumstances of the case, report to the parties and the court, encourage settlement in children’s best interests, and connect the family with community resources that will benefit their system as a whole.

Special Education and Behavioral Accommodation

All children are entitled to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education.  Far too many Hawai‘i Island children and youth struggle in school because of unidentified learning disorders or other disabilities.  Our advocates strive to ensure that our clients receive the appropriate assessments, are properly identified, and are provided with the necessary educational and support services so that they can excel in school.


Our highly skilled, passionate and committed attorneys fight to ensure the well-being and future success of our young clients


Valerie J. Grab

Co-Executive Director of Litigation and Advocacy

A graduate of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy at UCLA, Valerie J. Grab has advocated for children on Hawaiʻi Island since 2011. Ms. Grab was a Staff and Managing Attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Hawai’i’s Hilo Office, and practiced in public interest law firms in California and Washington DC. She was a Research Attorney for the Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court in Los Angeles, and is licensed to practice in Hawai’i, California and DC.


Our Firm

The Children’s Law Project of Hawai’i (CLPHI) is dedicated to providing superior legal advocacy services to children and youth in Hawai’i Island. If we are able to provide these advocacy services prior to a child coming under the jurisdiction of the dependency and/or delinquency court, we ultimately hope to avoid any court-involvement for our young and vulnerable clients. In addition to our direct services, CLPHI trains other attorneys representing Hawai’i Island youth in the judicial system.


Madeline M. Reed

Co-Executive Director Management and Operations

Madeline M. Reed was born in Berkeley, California, and has been a resident of Hawaiʻi Island since 2003. She graduated cum laude from Columbia University in 2000 and summa cum laude from the William S. Richardson School of Law in 2009. She has represented children and youth under the jurisdiction of the dependency and delinquency courts on Hawaiʻi Island since 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Our Offices

CLPHI has offices in Waimea and Hilo. To reach us, see the contact information below

  • Hilo 101 Apuni St Suite 1014
    Waimea PO Box 437285, Kamuela HI 96743
  • (808) 825-4080