|Children's Law Office Program (CLOP)|
The NACC National Children's Law Office Program
The NACC National Children's Law Office Program is designed to improve the delivery of legal services to abused and neglected children through improved children's law office operation. The NACC believes that dedicated children's law offices specializing in the legal representation of children provide one of the best models for the delivery of high quality legal services. Yet there are relatively few such offices in the country and many existing offices function without adequate resources, guidelines, and the opportunity to collaborate.
CLOP is designed to identify the nation's children's law offices, bring them together into a national children's law office network, and provide resources and guidance for law office operation. The end product is the creation of a national culture of model children's law office operation. The target offices of the program are those comprised of full time staff attorneys who specialize in the representation of children in abuse and neglect court proceedings.
This project is part of the NACC's overall mission to improve the quality of legal services to children and develop the practice of law for children as a distinct legal specialty. For more information on the NACC, please see the membership form in this publication or call 888-828-NACC.
The practice of law for children is complex. Attorneys representing children must develop expertise in state and federal substantive and procedural law, acquisition of resources and services for children and families, trial advocacy and dispute resolution, and child maltreatment and development. It is an increasingly difficult and specialized field. In 2004, the American Bar Association designated the practice of child welfare law as a distinct legal specialty for which lawyers may become certified legal specialists.
Given the specialized nature of this practice, it is difficult to provide high quality legal services without an institutional structure that allows attorneys to focus their full attention to the practice. Children's law offices comprised of full time staff attorneys who specialize in child welfare law are uniquely situated to provide high quality legal service. The NACC, through the Children's Law Office Program, has created a Guidebook of office operation designed to promote best office practice. The Guidebook and other CLOP materials can be accessed below.