The Proper Role of the Lawyer as Legal Representative of the Child


  • M. J. J. McHale



The increased recognition given to children in legal proceedings today brings into focus the special problems facing lawyer in the role of legal representative of the child. The author outlines the three roles available to the child advocate: the traditional advocate, the neutral officer of the court, the guardian; and considers the suitability of each of these roles in the various legal proceedings in which child may be involved, e.g. juvenile delinquency proceedings, custody proceedings, etc. The personal and professional qualifications required to be com petent as child advocate are examined and the author concludes by emphasiz ing that the multi-faceted role of child advocate requires the lawyer to assume new responsibilities and be willing to develop new skills.