Esther Canty-Barnes

Esther Canty-Barnes


Professor Canty-Barnes earned her BA from Bennett College (summa cum laude) and her JD from Rutgers School of Law–Newark. She is the Director of the Education and Health Law Clinic and a Clinical Professor of Law where she represents indigent parents and caregivers of disabled children in need of educational services; teaches law students in this specialized area of the law; and provides educational programs for parents/caregivers, attorneys, and others responsible for the welfare of disabled children. As Director of the clinic, Professor Canty-Barnes was instrumental in developing and implementing one of New Jersey’s first “Special Education in the Courts Initiative” to heighten the importance of addressing the educational needs of disabled children in the Courts; developed programs and trainings for attorneys and underserved populations of families; and works to ensure equal access to education for disabled children and their families who are unable to afford legal representation. She served on the Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts for 10 years, where she was appointed the first chairperson to the subcommittee on women of color, and was instrumental in conducting a survey and report on women of color in 2009 titled “Survey Perceptions of Race and Gender in the New Jersey Courts.”

Esther Canty-Barnes Articles

Why should kids get suspended in preschool?

Racial Inequality Starts Early – In Preschool

For the first time in March 2014, the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) collected data regarding how early learners are disciplined during the 2011-12 school year.
That report showed that while black children represent 18 percent of preschool enrollment, they accounted for 48 percent of students receiving one or more suspensions.