Leslie Starr Heimov

Executive Director, Children's Law Center

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 serves on California Supreme Court Chief Justice’s Commission on the Futures of California’s Court. She is a member of The California Judicial Council Family and Juvenile Law Committee, The Los Angeles County Education Coordinating Council, the Board of Directors of the National Association of Counsel for Children and the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (H.E.A.T.) Blue Ribbon Panel.   She is a member of the California Child Welfare Council and in May of 2013 was named co-chair, along with the California Secretary of Health and Human Services, of the newly created Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Action Team.  She sits on the Governance Board of Project ABC and the R.I.S.E. Leadership Council.   She previously served on 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 toward best practices in the representation of children and their families in the child welfare system and is considered an expert in the child welfare field.  She has served a trials 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 as well as Los Angeles counties.  CLC was awarded the 2009 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.