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J.D., U.C.L.A. School of Law  (1979)

Master of Liberal Arts in history,   Boston University  (1976)

Bachelor of Arts, history   Boston University (1974)  (magna cum laude)


Civic and Professional Activities

  • Legislative advocacy and legislation drafting experience: drawing from her personal experience as an adoptive parent of a teenaged foster child,  Dentler drafted & proposed Senate Bill 591, which amended sections of the CA Welfare & Institutions Code in 2003 and became known as the Caregiver Information Act, carried by State Senator Jack Scott, an adoptive grandparent. The bill clarified rights of foster children’s caregivers and improved their access to information and to the courts. In 2003-5, Dentler and her colleagues at Legal Advocates for Permanent Parenting (an organization she co-founded) helped draft and pass other bills in the area of foster parenting and adoption, including the elimination of onerous restrictions on a foster parent’s right to hire babysitters.  A water justice and environmental activist, Dentler took part in the campaign to pass AB1242 (“Human Right to Water” bill) passed both houses of the CA legislature in 2009, was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger and was later signed into law in modified form by his successor, Jerry Brown.
  • Voter Protection volunteer attorney, Nevada 2008 Change to Win; Out-of-State Travel Coordinator, CA 2008 (Obama for America); graduate of “Camp Obama” (Los Angeles Aug. 2008).
  •  Volunteer Settlement Officer, and Judge Pro Tem, Glendale Superior Court (1999-2001); Volunteer attorney, Barrister’s Domestic Violence Project (1997-98).
  • Recipient of Commendation for “Outstanding Contributions to Delivery of Pro Bono Legal Services” from State Bar Board of Governors (1989).
  • Commissioner (current), Glendale Water & Power Commission; Board member (former)  Building & Fire Board of Appeals of City of Glendale; Chair & board member (former) Glendale Historic Preservation Commission.
  • Member, Board of Directors of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (2002-2006). Record of board leadership in areas of public stewardship, water education, water conservation and environmental protection.

Memberships & Affiliations (partial list):  Co-founder of Legal Advocates for Permanent Parenting, the nation’s first legal advocacy organization exclusively focused on the rights of foster parents (2003);  Executive Board Member, California Appellate Defense Counsel (2008);  presenter at North American Council on Adoptable Children’s annual conferences, 2004 & 2012;  presenter, California Appellate Defense Counsel (annual conference, 2011);   Member, California Permanency Project for Youth’s Child Welfare/Courts Partnership Workgroup (2004-2005);  Awardee, AdoptUSKids Adoption Support Mini-Grantee (2004);   member, Community Advisory Council of the Carpinteria Children’s Project (current); co-founder (1991) of City of Glendale’s first non-profit foundation to raise private funds for a public elementary school (Glenoaks Elementary School Foundation);  past vice-president, Glendale American Association of University Women; past president and vice-president, Glendale Historical Society; “Measure K” (school bond) volunteer, Glendale; delegate, 1996 Democratic National Convention (Chicago).

Legal practice

  • Dentler, a former legal aid lawyer, has specialized since 1998 in juvenile dependency law at the appellate level, handling appeals for birth parents, children, and de facto parents.  Since becoming a foster and adoptive parent, she has added to her practice the occasional representation of foster parents at the trial court level. Her practice is located in Glendale, California.



  • Adjunct instructor of social science, American history, gender courses, and community volunteerism courses, Glendale Community College (1991-99).
  • Adjunct professor, Glendale University College of Law (1990). Course taught: Administrative Law.  Occasional substitute lecturer for child welfare course at Southwestern U. law school (2011-2012)
  • Trainer/presenter at  training programs for foster parents and social workers: Inner Circle Foster Family Agency (Van Nuys, CA 2011);  Delta College (Stockton, CA);  Grossmont  College (San Diego);  North American Council on Adoptable Children (Minn. 2004 & Va. 2012);  consultant/trainer for ChildSHARE, Inc.’s  adoption parent support group program (CA 2007).

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