Because the smallest voice in the courtroom should be the loudest.
Volunteer attorneys are crucial in providing children a voice in judicial proceedings. CLC holds several training sessions a year for attorneys, judges, social workers, and other child advocates. CLC recruits volunteer attorneys from local law firms and corporations as well as from individual practice. The purpose of the training is not only to educate child advocates about Minnesota laws that affect foster children, but also to provide guidance in giving quality representation and continuity in the representation of children. It is our goal that CLC’s pro bono attorneys become more knowledgeable about children’s issues in the child welfare and court system and are informed advocates for system reform.
CLC staff attorneys and social worker provide training and ongoing support for volunteer attorneys. These attorneys are committed to providing foster children the information they need to make decisions about their lives, guidance through the systems, and empowerment to transition out of the system and become stable adults. For many of CLC’s clients, their attorney is the most stable and consistent person in their lives.
CLC publishes practice points which are e-mailed to CLC Volunteer Attorneys and posted on our website. These practice points focus on pressing issues for foster care youth, including; placement, education, health, transitioning to adulthood, and many other legal matters pertaining to representing youth in foster care.
Insight From Volunteers
“When a troubled child proudly points to me and says, ‘This is my lawyer!,’ it is rewarding to see the sense of empowerment that has been created for that child.”
– Elaine McGillivray, volunteer attorney
“The most important thing CLC does is to give kids the feeling that somebody is there to listen to what they want. It may not always turn out the way the child wanted, but at least they had a voice in the process.”
– Cindy Moyer, Fredrikson & Byron
“Kids in foster care have spent most of their lives having other people make decisions for them. Now they have an opportunity to play a role in making the decisions that affect them.”
– Marian Saksena, DeWalt, Chawla & Saksena, LLC