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Children’s Rights Litigation

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You’ve graduated, passed the bar, and started your first legal job working with children and families. Perhaps you work for an institutional provider of legal services for children or as a prosecutor of dependency cases, or perhaps you are defending such cases. Perhaps, still, you are in private practice, and this is your first pro bono experience working on a family or juvenile court matter. Whatever your role, your job is the same: to represent your client and seek as favorable an outcome as possible.

But you are new—you don’t know the ropes or who the players are, you are unsure what your papers should look like, and you are worried about your upcoming cross-examination, interview, or motion. You don’t want to make a mistake, you don’t want to embarrass yourself, and you definitely don’t want to imperil your client’s legal position. You may have had some orientation training, but putting the rubber to the road at this early stage in your career is still so daunting— so what is a new lawyer to do? These universal moments of new-lawyer doubt are part of your initiation to the profession. The doubt isn’t what defines new attorneys; what they do about it is—and that sets the course for the rest of their legal careers.


©2012. Published in Children's Rights Litigation, Vol. 14, No. 3, Spring 2012, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.



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