Pro Bono Partnerships
Pairing volunteers’ legal skills with our clients’ expertise borne of lived experience.
Though Children’s Law Center is one of the largest nonprofit legal providers in DC, many more children come to us than we can help. We are honored to partner with more than 500 pro bono lawyers every year from the area’s top law firms, in-house legal departments and government agencies to help fill the gap.
Regardless of their prior experience or what type of case they take, pro bono lawyers find success helping DC children because of our comprehensive intakes and our commitment to high-quality training and mentoring. Taking a CLC pro bono case gives attorneys the opportunity to engage in hands-on lawyering that develops their skills, touches their hearts and expands their understanding of DC families’ lived experiences.
Caregiver and Custody Support
In caregiver cases, pro bono lawyers represent third-party caregivers (e.g., grandparents, kin) in custody, guardianship or adoption cases in D.C. Superior Court. Caregivers provide DC children with ongoing care and stable homes when their parents are unable, and our pro bono lawyers help caregivers navigate the legal process and obtain legal orders that provide continued care for these children.
D.C. Superior Court judges also refer contested custody cases to Children’s Law Center with requests for attorneys to serve as guardians ad litem (GAL), representing the best interest of the child in the case. Pro bono GALs conduct important investigations to determine what custodial arrangement is in a child’s best interest, may help parties reach an agreement or otherwise streamline disputed issues, and make recommendations to reduce family conflict and increase stability for children.
When a child lives in a moldy or pest-infested home, they are more likely to end up in the emergency room because their housing conditions can trigger health issues like asthma or allergies. Through our medical-legal partnerships, we receive referrals from pediatricians across the District when a child’s health is negatively impacted by unhealthy housing conditions. Pro bono lawyers represent parents and caregivers who need landlords to fix these housing issues, and when needed, bring affirmative housing conditions cases in D.C. Superior Court.
Through our medical-legal partnerships, we receive referrals when children are struggling without the appropriate evaluations, education plans and services to support their disabilities or special education needs. Pro bono lawyers help parents and caregivers obtain needed evaluations and services to ensure their child can make progress in school.