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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. 

Photo of Amanda McGinn and Megan Greer.

Through [my] pro bono caregiver custody case, [I was] able to work with a DC family dealing with very real-life issues. You know your work has an incredible impact not only in that moment, but in these families’ lives. It’s extremely rewarding.”

Amanda McGinn, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Akin Gump Wins for a Grandmother and Two Little Girls
Photo of Destiny, her grandfather Tyrone, and their lawyer Rebecca outside Destiny's new school.

“Having access to an aide was a game-changer for Destiny," says pro bono lawyer Rebecca Hekman, who stepped in when Destiny’s middle school refused to grant her a dedicated aide to help meet her special education needs. "She finally had the attention and support she needed to do well.”

Rebecca Hekman, Clifford Chance LLP A Destined Pro Bono Partnership

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.

Housing Conditions

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.

Special Education

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.

Become a Pro Bono Lawyer!

Without pro bono volunteers, many DC children and families could not receive the access to justice they deserve. 

Get Involved Now