Howard Talenfeld Fosters Hope

Civil rights attorney Howard Talenfeld, with Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky & Abate in Fort Lauderdale, has focused his career on improving the lives of Florida's foster children. He talked with us about his work in the 2011 issue of Florida Super Lawyers & Rising Stars. In addition to fighting for their rights in the courtroom, he organized an advocacy group called Florida's Children First.

"The only way advocates can make a difference is from the outside, working through advocacy organizations," he says. "The only consistency is to strengthen the child advocates, give them a unified voice, and teach lawyers how to file cases like we've filed. That's the only way these kids will ever be protected."

When he started his career, Talenfeld practiced commercial and personal injury law. Asked to defend the state in cases involving social services, he was drawn to that area of the law. "I couldn't defend the system, but I could defend the state's right to improve the system," he says.

Now he often takes on the state in court, on behalf of vulnerable children. Talenfeld is pleased with the direction of his career.

"I had reached a point in my young career where I just didn't see a purpose fighting about money in commercial cases," he says. "I had a chance to start fighting to improve systems for vulnerable persons."

Read the full story about Talenfeld here.