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Children's Legal Services


students and instructor at white board

Ensuring that our lawyers are well-trained and competent litigators is a top priority for CLS Leadership. Statewide Training Director Jonathan Growick and Statewide Trainers Pauline Black, Daniel Blackman, and Shannon Dolson lead the robust litigation skills training program for CLS lawyers.

Because the best lawyers are always learning, CLS has instituted a comprehensive on-boarding program, year-round curriculum that includes an intensive multi-day CLS New Attorney Training, an annual multi-day advanced training, webinars, case law conference calls, practice pointers, and live training. Topics covered during these sessions include trial advocacy and courtroom skills, child hearsay and interviewing the child victim, ethics in child welfare, psychotropic medication, least restrictive means, the science of attachment and legal writing. The National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) training methodology is utilized for the litigation skills trainings.

CLS training diagram

CLS has also developed its own database of petitions, motions, and orders on which our attorneys can build a strong foundation for ongoing excellence and advocacy, ensuring that no lawyer is an island while advocating for the best permanency outcomes for the children we serve.

Jonathan Growick
Statewide Training Director