Cynthia Bryant teaches courses in Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. She also teaches the Mediation Clinic where students mediate small claims disputes referred by local courts. In addition, she serves on the steering committee of the University’s interdisciplinary Graduate Portfolio Program on Dispute Resolution. Her research interests include dispute resolution processes in child support and in child protection cases. With students in the Mediation Clinic, she authored a study of child protection mediation in Texas for the Texas Supreme Court’s Commission on Children, Youth & Families in 2010. She has served on the drafting committee for national guidelines for child protection for the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the American Humane Association.
Much of her legal career has focused on the legal rights of children. An experienced clinical law professor, she taught the Law School’s Juvenile Justice Clinic beginning in 1977. Then, with Professor John J. Sampson, she founded the Children’s Rights Clinic in 1980 and served as its supervising attorney for 14 years. She is the author of Representing Texas Children in Abuse and Neglect Cases: A Manual for Attorneys. In 2008, she chaired the Strategic Planning Committee for the Texas Supreme Court’s Commission on Children, Youth & Families. She also served on the Texas Supreme Court Task Force on Foster Care from 1994-2007. In 2000, she received the Children’s Award from Texas CASA for her dedication to the children of Texas. The State Bar of Texas child Abuse and Neglect Committee honored her with its Forshey Award in 1999 for distinguished service to children and families. Travis County Women Lawyers recognized her with its Public Interest Award in 1996.
Her work also includes two stints in government service. From 2001 to 2004, she led the largest division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office when she served as Deputy Attorney General for Child Support. The federal Department of Health and Human Services recognized her work there in 2001 with its Commissioner’s Award. During her tenure as Deputy Attorney General, she championed dispute resolution in child support cases, and the Texas child support program became a national leader in resolving child support disputes outside traditional court processes.
National Child Support Enforcement Association Policy Conference, Washington, D.C.
Judicial Council of California Conference on Child Support in San Diego
Annual Conference of Child Support Directors of California, in Sacramento