As a court-appointed Guardian ad Litem Attorney, you will represent a vulnerable child in a contentious custody case and attempt to ensure that they grow up in a safe and stable home. Attorneys are appointed in cases where the judge has serious concerns about the safety and security of the child; these circumstances can include child abuse or neglect, domestic violence, substance abuse or incarceration of a parent, serious mental or physical illness of a parent or the child, a developmental disability of a parent or the child, or a third party seeking custody over the objection of a parent.
Previous family law experience is not required. GAL attorneys undertake a thorough investigation of the case, which includes visits to the child’s home, school and caretakers, as well as reviewing medical and school records. GALs participate attend hearings, file reports, motions and other pleadings, participate at trial, and make custody and visitation recommendations that are in the best interests of their child clients. Representing a child client as a GAL takes 3-6 months, but in some cases, representation may last longer.
We offer to all volunteers: in-court supervision, comprehensive training programs, live and online; mentorship by an experienced supervising attorney, who reviews all written work and accompanies the volunteer to court; access to an extensive resource library, including sample pleadings; administrative support; malpractice insurance; and more.
To get started, please fill out a volunteer registration form at dcvlp.org/registration. Then, please email Emilia Plater-Zyberk at firstname.lastname@example.org for next steps or with questions.
- Child Welfare
- Child Advocacy
- Crisis Intervention
- Conflict Resolution
- Family Law
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Orientation or Training
- 3-6 months
- You need to be a licensed lawyer but do NOT need a DC bar license.