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Social Workers Wanted as Court Advocates
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Social Workers Wanted as Court Advocates

The New York State Unified Court System and the Housing Court Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York seek to recruit NASW members to assist as guardians ad litem (GAL) in Housing Court. Within New York City, 99% of tenants represent themselves in Housing Court. Some also face physical or mental impairments that preclude them from attending court and/or inhibit their understanding of a case.

The services a GAL provides are essential to the parties that need them. Attending court, coordinating with social service agencies to secure needed entitlements or services, and negotiating settlements with other parties are several examples. GALs receive $600 upon completion of cases known to APS; others are rendered pro-bono.

Housing Court judges appoint GALs from a pool of candidates that have received a full day of training designed to provide the knowledge necessary to assist their wards. Given the
nature of the work, GALs holding social services backgrounds can be particularly successful in assisting wards.

If you would like to feel the gratification arising from assisting a vulnerable population while gaining courtroom experience and learning landlord-tenant law, please contact Denise Colón-Greenaway, Esq., LMSW, Special Counsel for Court-Based Interdisciplinary Programs, at dcgreena@courts.state.ny.us .

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