Profile of Lawyers Representing Children

Our profile of lawyers representing the children has implications for developing and sustaining a state’s system for training and delivering legal services for children. The full profile is available as Chapter 8 of CHILDREN’S JUSTICE. The 263 lawyers in Georgia and Washington State had the following characteristics.

Profile of Child Representatives

  • Child representation practice constituted less than 20 percent of the legal work and income for most attorneys.
  • In the six months prior to the study, attorneys had represented an average of between six and ten children; one-third of the attorneys had represented five or fewer child welfare cases.
  • Attorneys were experienced, with an average of 13.5 years of practice and were active in a number of different fields of law, including divorce and paternity, private adoption, truancy, and juvenile justice.
  • Almost two-thirds of the attorneys found their job as child representatives rewarding, and most thought they had a significant impact on child outcomes.
  • A majority thought compensation was somewhat or very inadequate.
  • Two-thirds of the attorneys did not have psychologists or psychiatrists with whom they could consult.