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Family and Youth Law Center

Capital University Law School

303 East Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Telephone: (614) 236-6730
Fax: (614) 236-6958

Does Not Use Volunteer Attorneys

The Family and Youth Law Center at Capital University Law School (FYLaw) works within child welfare, adoption, and juvenile justice systems to support positive outcomes for children, youth, and families. Established in 1998 as the National Center for Adoption Law & Policy, FYLaw partners with local, state, and national agencies and organizations in collaborations aimed at improving the laws, policies, and practices associated with child protection, adoption, and juvenile justice systems. 

Over the past few years, FYLaw has expanded the services it provides beyond advocacy, training, and education to include direct representation of systems-involved youth. FYLaw launched the Foster Youth Advocacy Center (FYAC) to provide civil legal services to young adults transitioning out of the child welfare system. This year, FYAC expanded its operation to offer these services to families at risk of systems involvement. 
In each of these initiatives, FYLaw partners with Capital University and Capital University Law School to help provide experiential and service learning opportunities to law and social work students interested in working in child welfare and other related fields. FYLaw's student-oriented programming includes a national moot court competition, a fellowship program, externships, and pro bono opportunities.

Guardian at Litem Project

9300 Quincy Avenue 
Cleveland, OH 44106
Telephone: (216) 443-3377
Fax: (216) 443-3490
Email: [email protected]

100% Children's Law
Does Use Volunteer Attorneys

Established in 1980 by the Cuyahoga County Bar Association, the Guardian Ad Litem Project represents children in abuse and neglect cases, as well as in other juvenile court cases in which there is a parent/child conflict, where the child has no parent, where the parent is a minor or appeared to be mentally incompetent, or where appointment is otherwise necessary to ensure a fair hearing. The Guardian ad Litem Project recruits and trains GALs and monitors their performance. The Project serves as the liaison between the GALs, the Juvenile Court, and the public. Some attorneys serve as guardian ad litem pro bono, while others earn a fee, either paid by Cuyahoga County or the parties to the case. The Guardian ad Litem Project provides a two-day training for attorneys to become qualified GALs in Cuyahoga County. Advanced Trainings, also provided by the Project, are required to continue serving as a GAL.

Justice for Children Project

Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

55 W. 12th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210
Telephone: (614) 292-6821
Fax: (614) 292-5511

100% Children's Law

The Justice for Children Project is an interdisciplinary research initiative at The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law. The Project engages in research and law reform while providing law students with opportunities to explore issues pertaining to children. The Project may undertake law reform initiatives. For example, the Project filed an amicus brief in the Ohio Supreme Court and the Kentucky Supreme Court, arguing that the children have a constitutional right to maintain and pursue their sibling relationship in a contested adoption matter. The Project is also developing GAL standards in abuse, neglect, dependency, delinquency, and unruly cases, and in domestic matters.

The Justice for Children Practicum began in January 1998 through funding from an Ohio State University academic enrichment grant. Part of the Justice for Children Project, the Practicum provides direct legal representation of children and their interests. The objective of the Practicum is not to represent a large number of clients, but instead to assemble a selection of cases that provides students with an opportunity to learn an ethical and strong legal practice model. 16 to 20 students, along with one staff attorney, handle approximately 40 cases as both attorneys and guardians ad litem. In addition to representing children in juvenile justice cases, the Project, through the Practicum, has filed a number of constitutional challenges on behalf of children. These have included cases addressing curfew ordinances, free speech, and search and seizures. Cases are referred primarily through juvenile court, though some are referred by other attorneys or from the clients themselves. The clinic does accept calls from the public seeking legal information.

In addition, the Justice for Children Project's Pro Bono Partnership pairs local attorneys who are willing to serve as pro bono guardians ad litem with law students from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Pro Bono Research Group, who provide the attorneys research, drafting, and other assistance in performing the duties of the guardian ad litem.


2605 Burnet Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45219
Telephone: (513) 281-2000
Fax: (513) 487-6444
E-mail: [email protected]

100% Children's Law

ProKids was created in 1981 by the Hamilton County Juvenile Court, the Cincinnati Bar Association and the Junior League of Cincinnati out of a concern for children in Hamilton County, Ohio who had been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. ProKids recruits and trains CASAs: court appointed special advocates for children who have been abused or neglected. CASAs need not be attorneys. Funding is provided by United Way, victims' assistance funds, grants and hundreds of donors.

Teamchild and Children's Practice Group

Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati

215 E. Ninth St., Ste. 200
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Telephone: (513) 241-9400 / (800) 582-2682
Fax: (513) 241-7871

100% Children's Law
Does Use Volunteer Attorneys

This project began when the Legal Aid Society decided to focus on children's advocacy as a result of community input. The Children's Practice Group engages in advocacy including representation, advice, and referrals related to a range of issues including school discipline and special education, children's mental health, and serving as lawyers and guardians ad litem in abuse and neglect cases. Clients are referred from court, social service agencies, schools, health care professionals, the client him or herself and other attorneys. Training is offered for volunteers and mandatory continuing legal education credit is available.

The program does accept calls from the public and children seeking legal information. If an attorney is interested in volunteering he or she should contact the agency's executive director.