Segal McCambridge will host a lunchtime Guardian ad litem (GAL) Orientation Training at its Chicago office on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. Confirmed guest speaker will be Benji Phillips from the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS). Phillips will train attorneys in attendance how to handle a GAL probate matter wherein one represents a minor in a guardianship/custody dispute. Attendees will have the opportunity to volunteer with CVLS as a GAL.
CVLS has been appointed by the Probate Court to serve as guardian ad litem (GAL) of children caught up in contested or problematic minor guardianship cases since 1998. Volunteer GALs serve two functions: they represent the child and they investigate and make recommendations to the Court as to the child's best interests. This is a difficult, but ultimately fulfilling pro bono practicethe children they represent desperately need advocates and the Court needs the information that an objective GAL provides.
CVLS was formed to coordinate, promote and support the involvement of the legal community in the voluntary pro bono representation of individual clients from the ranks of Chicago area's poor and working poor. Their volunteers resolve non-fee-generating family, consumer, probate, tort, government benefits, immigration and miscellaneous cases. CVLS accepts no direct government funding; their work is made possible through grants and the generous support of law firms, corporations and individual donors. Along with the minor GAL program, CVLS currently has four other specific programs through whichindividualscan volunteer: Panel, Neighborhood Clinic, Guardian Ad Litem for Adults and Access to Justice.