Rhode Island Bar Association
National Association of Counsel for Children
Family Court Bench Bar Committee
Juvenile Rules Committee
George Washington University, BA Education
Columbia University, MA in Special Education
New England School of Law
U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island
Patricia Byrnes has spent the last 30 years representing children and their families. Her focus includes guardian ad litem practice particularly for children with developmental disabilities, advocating on behalf of parents, adoption practice and representing juveniles in Family Court criminal proceedings.
Prior to joining HCL, Attorney Byrnes worked for many years at the State of Rhode Island Office of the Child Advocate as staff attorney and Assistant Child Advocate. While employed by the agency she engaged in all aspects of legal representation on behalf of children in state care before the Rhode Island Family Court, Federal Court and the Rhode Island Department of Education. Previously, Ms. Byrnes was employed as an Assistant Public Defender for ten years and later as an Administrative Adjunction Hearing Officer for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. She has been appointed to several terms on her town’s Juvenile Hearing Board and has taught special education.
A frequent presenter and public speaker, Attorney Byrnes has lectured widely and conducted trainings on child welfare issues. She is a recipient of the Rhode Island Bar Association writing award. Ms. Byrnes has been appointed to numerous committees including the Family Court Bench Bar Committee and the Juvenile Rules Committee. She is a member of the National Association of Counsel for Children.
Attorney Byrnes received her undergraduate degree from George Washington University in education, holds a master’s degree from Columbia University in special education and earned her law degree from New England School of Law. She has also completed course work in family and divorce mediation at Roger Williams University Law School and has trained to conduct federal child and family service reviews.