Eikoku Ikeno, one of three staff attorneys at the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, calls his work advocating for abandoned, abused or neglected children his dream job. It’s why he went to law school.
He graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2014 and joined the Children’s Law Center in April 2016. Since then, he has worked with the center’s staff attorneys and volunteer attorneys representing more than 720 foster care youths.
“Eikoku is an impressive addition to CLC’s stalwart staff of child advocates,” says the center’s managing attorney, Anne Tyler Gueinzius. “CLC staff and our child clients are indebted to Eikoku and his ferocious work on their behalf.”
Ikeno says he always wanted to help kids and first heard about child advocacy as an undergraduate on a university YMCA social justice trip to Colorado to study child abuse.
The group visited the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, where he heard its founder, Shari F. Shink, say she wished lawyers would be willing to spend as much time representing children as they did big companies.
“She planted a seed,” he says. It struck a chord with him that speaking for children could be a career option.