Ira A. Burnim

Ira A. Burnim is the Legal Director of the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington, D.C. He has represented thousands of adults and children with mental disorders in class action suits around the nation, including the landmark case of R.C. v. Hornsby, involving Alabama’s child welfare system.

He is a member of the board of the ACLU of Maryland as well as the editorial advisory board of the American Bar Association’s Mental and Physical Disability Law Reporter and the National Advisory Committee to the Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children’s Mental Health in Portland, Oregon.

Working with Mental Disability Rights International, he has advised advocates and policy makers in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Ukraine.

He was formerly the Legal Director of the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, D.C., an attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, and law clerk to U.S. District Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr., in Montgomery, Alabama. With his wife and two sons, he lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.