Jean Koh Peters

Sol Goldman Clinical Professor Emeritus of Law

J.D., Harvard Law School, 1982

B.A., Radcliffe College, 1979

Courses Taught
  • Advanced Advocacy for Children and Youth
  • Advanced Immigration Legal Services
  • Advocacy for Children and Youth
  • Immigration Legal Services
  • Representing Children in Child Protective Proceedings: Domestic and Comparative Theory and Practice
  • Clinical Teaching Practicum
Jean Koh Peters

Jean Koh Peters is the Sol Goldman Clinical Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale Law School. An expert in children, families, and the law, as well as asylum law, she joined Yale Law School in 1989 as an associate clinical professor and supervising attorney for The Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization. She was named Clinical Professor in 1993 and was named the Sol Goldman Clinical Professor of Law in October 2009. She previously was an assistant clinical professor at Columbia Law School and associate director of Columbia’s Child Advocacy Clinic. Prior to that, she served as a staff attorney in the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society in New York City, after clerking for the late William P. Gray of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. From 1992 to 2017, she supervised students representing children, most recently in the Sol and Lillian Goldman Family Advocacy for Children and Youth Clinic.  From 1992 to 2018, she supervised students representing asylum seekers in the Immigration Legal Services Clinic.

Peters has published numerous articles and is author of the book, Representing Children in Child Protective Proceedings: Ethical and Practical Dimensions. She is the co-author, with Mark Weisberg of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, of A Teacher’s Reflection Book: Stories, Exercises, Invitations. She is also the co-creator, with Susan J. Bryant of CUNY School of Law, of the Habits of Cross-Cultural Lawyering, a curriculum now taught in law school clinics around the country. Peters and Bryant also presented extensively and wrote about talking about race in law classrooms and clinics. Peters also conducted trainings for U.S. asylum officers from 1995 to 2018. Among other awards, she received the Society of American Law Teachers Great Teacher Award jointly with Susan J. Bryant in 2016; the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Justice in Action Award in 2012;  the Yale Law Women Teaching Award in 1999; and the Yale Law Women Lifetime Excellence Award in 2018. She holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Radcliffe and a J.D. from Harvard.


Jean Koh Peters and Mark Weisberg, A Teacher's Reflection Book: Stories, Exercises, Invitations (Carolina Academic Press, 2011)

Representing Children in Child Protective Proceedings: Ethical & Practical Dimensions (LexisNexis, 3d ed. 2007)

  • Selected chapters include “Representing the Child-in-Context: Five Habits of Cross-Cultural Lawyering,” and “The Lawyer-As-Context II: Fulfilling the Ethical Duty to Address Occupational Hazards That Imperil Client Service: Stress, Burnout, Vicarious Traumatization.”

Articles and Book Chapters

"Seeking Dignity, Voice and Story for Children in Our Child Protective Systems," 26 International Journal of Children's Rights 5-15 (2018).

Talking about Race (with Susan J. Bryant), in Transforming the Education of Lawyers: The Theory and Practice of Clinical Pedagogy (Bryant, Milstein, Shalleck, eds. 2014).

Six Practices for Connecting with Clients Across Culture: Habit Four, Working with Interpreters and other Approaches (with Susan J. Bryant), in The Affective Assistance Of Counsel (Marjorie Silver ed., 2007).

"Experiments in Listening," 57 J. Legal Educ. 427 (2007) (with Mark Weisberg).

How Children Are Heard in Child Protective Proceedings, in The United States and Around the World in 2005: Survey Findings, Initial Observations, and Areas for Further Study, 6 Nev. L.J. 966 (2006).

Five Habits for Cross-Cultural Lawyering (with Susan J. Bryant), in Race, Culture, Psychology & Law (Kimberly Barrett & William George eds., 2005).

“Stress, Burnout, Vicarious Trauma, and Other Emotional Realities in the Lawyer/Client Relationship: A Panel Discussion,” 19 Touro L. Rev. 847 (2004) (with Marjorie A. Silver & Sanford Portnoy).

“The Five Habits: Building Cross-Cultural Competence in Lawyers,” 8 Clinical L. Rev. 33, Fall 2001 (w/Susan Bryant).

“Access to Justice: The Social Responsibility of Lawyers: Habit, Story, Delight: Essential Tools for the Public Service Advocate,” 7 Wash. U.J.L. & Pol’y 17, 2001.

“The Roles and Content of Best Interests in Client-Directed Lawyering for Children in Child Protective Proceedings,” 64 Fordham L. Rev. 1507, March 1996.

"Jose and Sarah's Story: The Usefulness of Roleplay in an Ethically-Based Evaluation of The Present and Future Family Court," 21 Pac. L.J. 897 (1990).

"Schall v. Martin and the Transformation of Judicial Precedent," 31 B.C.L.R. 641 (1990).

"Concrete Strategies for Managing Ethically-Based Conflicts Between Children's Lawyers and Consulting Social Workers Who Serve The Same Client," 10 Children’s Legal Rts. J. 15 (1989).

Jean Kyongun Koh, "Reservations to Multilateral Treaties: How International Legal Doctrine Reflects World Vision," 23 Harv. Int’l L.J. 71 (1982).