Attorney Training and Resources

Free Florida CLE IconFree Florida CLE: LeGAL Support for Your Pro Bono Practice

The Guardian ad Litem Program is committed to its partnership with pro bono attorneys. Pro bono attorneys provide an invaluable service by assisting the GAL team in advocating for the best interests of children in the child welfare system.

Free Florida CLE is a one-stop shop for free continuing legal education for Florida attorneys. It provides virtual CLE courses on a variety of subjects, including appeals, trial skills, dependency, mental health and more. All of the courses are either CLE-certified or pending certification. Need an ethics credit? We have two courses that fit the bill.

Free Florida CLE is part of our commitment to our pro bono attorneys and the legal community at large. Attorneys can choose which courses best suit their interest, practice area, and pro bono goals. The training is self-paced, providing flexibility to allow attorneys the ability to complete the training as their schedules permit. New courses and topics will be added to keep the content relevant and up to date to best assist attorneys in their practice. Free Florida CLE is the place to go for interesting and informative CLE courses to expand knowledge and hone advocacy.

We encourage you to visit Free Florida CLE: LeGAL Support for Your Pro Bono Practice and subscribe so that you will be notified when new courses are added. We accept suggestions for courses or topics to add. Together, we can make this a useful and informative resource for everyone.

Legal Resources:

Florida Statues: Chapter 39

Dependency Practice Manual (2016)

GAL Dependency Practice Manual CHECKLISTS 2016

Florida Dependency Benchbook

Keeping Children Safe Act PowerPoint (2016)

The Keys to Independence   The Florida Keys to Independence Act was signed into law in 2014.  It is targets youth in licensed foster care between the ages of 15 to 21.  The Act created a 3-year pilot project that was then passed as a permanent project.  The Department of Children and Families selected  Community Based Care of Central Florida (CBCCFL) to operate and manage the program for the entire state.  The project will reimburse youth and caregivers for the costs associated with driver’s education, driver’s licenses and other costs related to getting a driver’s license as well as motor vehicle insurance.  It is important that the youth, caregiver, case manager and others involved with the youth have a discussion about the readiness of the youth to get their drivers license and that it be included in the youth’s transition plan. When visiting the Keys to Independence website you will find resources, learn how to apply, get insurance and learn how to get reimbursed.

#JustAdulting  Once you turn 18 years old, you are legally considered an adult in this country. But what does that actually mean? From the right to cast your vote in the next election to entering into a lease for your first apartment to serving on a jury, you are about to enter a new and exciting world of rights, responsibilities, and obligations. The Florida Bar’s #JustAdulting Legal Survival Guide is key in understanding how the law will impact your daily life.

Federal Statutory Resources

Thomas-U.S. Congress on the Internet

Protect Our Kids Act of 2012

The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act

ASFA:  Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, Including Adoption Opportunities and the Abandoned Infants Assistance Act, as Amended by P.L. 111-320, The CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010

Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (Chafee Act)

ICWA:  Indian Child Welfare Act — 25 U.S.C., ch. 21

Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351)

The Affordable Care Act

Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 (PDF Document)

ICPC:  Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children — The Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 2002

ADA:  Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101-12189

FERPA:  Family Education Rights Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g

HIPPA:  Health Insurance Portability Act (1996)

Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008

Legal Writing Resources

All pleadings in Florida State Courts must be pursuant to Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.800 This rule applies to all legal documents, including court opinions. Except for citations to case reporters, all citation forms should be spelled out in full if used as an integral part of a sentence either in the text or in footnotes. Abbreviated forms as shown in this rule should be used if the citation is intended to stand alone either in the text or in footnotes.

All other citations shall be in the form prescribed by the latest edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, The Harvard Law Review Association, Gannett House, Cambridge, MA 02138. Citations not covered in this rule or in The Bluebook shall be in the form prescribed by the Florida Style Manual published by the Florida State University Law Review, Tallahassee, FL 32306.

Uniform Citation/ Capitalization Reference (2015).  Use this quick reference page as an easy reminder of Florida Uniform Citation Rules.

Other Training Resource:

I am for the child logo

The GAL program provides other trainings and CLE courses on its free online training site I am for the Child Academy. This includes monthly attorney conference calls that provide up-to-date information on topics related to legal advocacy. These trainings are conducted by both Program staff and experts from outside the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program. Each hour long presentation has been approved for CLE credit (CLE Credit is good for 18 months from the Conference Date). You will find audio files of these conference calls as well as practice aids and materials provided by the lecturer. If you are an attorney and would like to receive CLE credit for listening to the audio file, please visit the Florida Bar website and submit the course number provided to receive CLE credit.

Click here to view a comprehensive listing of all courses offered by the I am for the child Academy.