Kimberly Ambrose

  • Director, Tools for Social Change: Race and Justice Clinic
  • Teaching Professor


Phone: (206) 685-6806


B.A. 1984, J.D. 1989, University of Washington

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Expertise

Juvenile Law

Recent Courses

LAW B 510 Problems In Professional Responsibility
LAW B 517 Juvenile Justice Seminar
LAW E 530 Tools for Social Change: Race and Justice Clinic

Selected Publications

  • Lisa Kelly & Kim Ambrose, Representing Youth: Telling Stories, Imagining Change (Carolina Academic Press 2017). 498 pages.

See the full list under the Publications tab below.

Kimberly Ambrose is a Teaching Professor and directs the Tools for Social Change: Race and Justice Clinic, a clinic she founded in 2011 focusing on racial disparities in the juvenile justice system. She joined the clinic faculty part time in 2001 and full time in 2005, as supervising attorney for the Children and Youth Advocacy Clinic. Professor Ambrose also created and taught the Legislative Advocacy Clinic.

Before joining the faculty, she was a public defender representing indigent adults and juveniles in both child welfare and criminal proceedings and worked as a resource attorney for the Washington Defender Association, providing training, technical assistance, and resources to public defense attorneys around Washington state. After she graduated from law school, Professor Ambrose clerked for U.S. District Judge David Ezra in the District of Hawaii.

In 2009, Professor Ambrose was a Resident Fellow for the Open Society Justice Institute in Beijing, China, working on developing criminal defense clinics in several universities across China. She has also worked extensively with newly-established clinics in Indonesia, in partnership with the UW Asian Law Center.

In 2012, Professor Ambrose received the Shanara Gilbert Emerging Clinician Award from the Association of American Law Schools Section on Clinical Legal Education.

She serves on the Washington Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights and the Juvenile Justice Subcommittee of the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission.  

Books or Treatises

  • Lisa Kelly & Kim Ambrose, Representing Youth: Telling Stories, Imagining Change (Carolina Academic Press 2017). 498 pages.

Book Chapters

Professional Publications

News Media

  • Speaker, Talking about Plea Offers with Your Clients, Washington Defender Association Annual Conference Washington Defender Association Annual Conference, (April 26, 2024)
  • Panelist, Navigating DEI in the Current Legal Landscape Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Seattle Alumni Event, Davis Wright Tremaine (January 18, 2024)
  • Moderator, "Forum: Juvenile Justice", League of Women Voters (October 3, 2019)
  • Moderator, "Cruel and Unusual Punishment: Youth, Race, and the Law", Washington State Judicial Conference, (September 24, 2019)
  • Speaker, "Attorney Bias and Representing the Interests of Diverse Clients", Criminal Defense Training Academy, Washington State Office of Public Defense (June 22, 2019)
  • Speaker, "Media Advocacy in Clinical Teaching: Reclaiming Client Narratives in a Time of Polarization", Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Association of American Law Schools (May 6, 2019)
  • Speaker, "Raising Race", Washington Defender Conference, (April 27, 2019)
  • Speaker, "Interviewing Your Client", Juvenile Defense Training Academy, (September 14, 2018)
  • Speaker, "The Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions in Washington State", Spring Appellate Program, Washington State Courts (March 28, 2018)
  • Panelist, "The War on Drugs and Its Disproportionate Effect on Minorities", with The Honorable Judge Wesley Saint Clair and The Honorable Judge Ricardo Martinez, Social Justice Tuesday, University of Washington School of Law (February 13, 2018)
  • Speaker, "Seizing the Moment: Effective Sentencing of Youth", Washington State Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee (January 10, 2018)
  • Speaker, "Kids and Young Adults Are Different: Individualized Sentencing Based on Youth", Continuing Legal Education, Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (December 8, 2017)
  • Speaker, "Seizing the Moment: Effective Sentencing of Youth", Washington State House of Representatives Public Safety Committee (November 16, 2017)
  • Speaker, "Juvenile Brain Development and Sentencing", Washington State Sentencing Guidelines Commission (October 13, 2017)
  • Speaker, "Race, Class and Culture Matters: Practical Strategies to Ethically and Effectively Challenge Bias in the Criminal Justice System", Forging the Path with Emerging Science in Homicide and Death Penalty Cases, University of Washington School of Law (September 21, 2017)