Two empirical studies demonstrating the impact of vigorous family defense legal work on child protection cases bookended the 2010s. In 2012, Mark Courtney and Jennifer Hook found that cases in which a specialized interdisciplinary law office (ILO) represented parents had faster reunifications, guardianships, and adoptions than similar cases with different parental representation, though it did not explore how those results were obtained. In 2019, Lucas Gerber, Yuk Pang, Timothy Ross, Martin Guggenheim, Peter Pecora, and Joel Miller found that, compared to solo and small office practitioners, ILOs in New York City hastened reunification and guardianships for their clients, leading to 118 fewer days in foster care per child on average, without any negative child safety outcomes.
Family Law | Juvenile Law | Law
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Josh Gupta-Kagan, A Ringing Endorsement of Lawyers, and the Most Important Development in Child Protection Law, JOTWELL (March 26, 2021) (reviewing Lucas A. Gerber, et al., Understanding the effects of an interdisciplinary approach to parental representation in child welfare, 116 Child. & Youth Serv. Rev. 105163 (2020), available at SSRN), https://family.jotwell.com/a-ringing-endorsement-of-lawyers-and-the-most-important-developmentin- child-protection-law/.