Under New York Law, in certain enumerated proceedings, children are entitled to be represented by counsel in the family, supreme, surrogate, and appellate courts. The Attorneys for Children Program is the governmental office responsible for maintaining a list of attorneys qualified to represent children, and as such, seeks to provide the highest quality legal services to children involved in the judicial system.
The Office of Attorneys for Children, subject to the supervision of the Appellate Division, establishes procedures for the administration of the program. The Attorneys for Children Program is comprised of approximately 650 attorneys who are certified to the panel by the Appellate Division to serve in the ten counties of the Second Judicial Department, namely, Kings, Queens, Richmond, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Orange, Dutchess, Rockland, and Putnam counties. In addition to the overall administration of the panel, the Office of Attorneys for Children is responsible for the processing of vouchers for payment, and also provides the panel attorneys with various support services including extensive introductory and continuing legal education.
Prospective panel members are required to view a set of training DVDs entitled "Fundamentals of Family Court/Family Law Advocacy," a series of seminars providing an overview of all aspects of family law representation. (Request access to Fundamentals). Current panel members are required to attend various continuing legal education programs throughout the year. (Request access to on line CLE programs).
The material found within the Attorneys for Children Administrative Handbook includes relevant statutory and regulatory provisions, policy considerations and protocols, relevant forms, sample orders, and compensation guidelines. Additionally, included within this handbook, is a separate section for Assigned Counsel in the Family Courts of Kings, Queens, and Richmond counties.
The Family Court Appellate Handbook contains the rules and procedures utilized in the Appellate Division, Second Department and provides relevant forms, sample affirmations, motions and orders. Also, included within this handbook, are informational outlines regarding various aspects of appellate practice and a complete index of the statutes and rules referred to in these outlines.
The Attorneys for Children Online Voucher Manual is a comprehensive step by step guide for the use of the Online Voucher Processing Program. It includes instructions for accessing the court=s website, creating a new voucher, producing an attorney assignment report, and conducting an appearance search.
The New York Children’s Lawyer is co-edited, and published every four months by the Attorneys for Children Directors within the Appellate Divisions in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Judicial Departments. It contains digests of every reported case in New York State involving issues relevant to attorneys for children, as well as statutory changes, a bibliography of relevant books and articles, essays on topics and issues important to the field, a Letters to the Editor section, and announcements of important developments and upcoming training sessions in all Departments. Click here for access to the most current publication, together with a menu of PDF editions beginning in July of 2010.