How do I become an Adoption Attorney?

How do I become an Adoption Attorney?

Given the twenty-seven plus years that I have practiced adoption law, I frequently get asked by other attorneys how they can become an adoption attorney. Of course it helps if once already is practicing family law because custody and adoption matters often overlap. However, I am not a traditional family law attorney since I practice adoption and surrogacy – and actually first learned adoption law and then custody law. Here are my standard suggestions:

1. Adoption Law Courses

Take as many adoption law courses as you can – especially ones that are state specific. I have given quite a number of such courses that are available for purchase as webinars with Lawline that can be taken right at your desk and last only 90 minutes.

2. Virginia CLE Book

Purchase the Virginia CLE book on Adoption Procedures and Forms.

3. Guardian Ad Litem Certification

Get certified as a guardian ad litem. Then advise every adoption attorney that you know (see the ones listed on the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (“AAAA”) website at http://www.adoptionattorneys.org) that you are available to be appointed for the child in adoption cases. While some courts will not let attorneys select their guardians ad litem, some do – and adoption attorneys like having guardians ad litem who are familiar with adoption law.

4. Adoption Attorney Shadowing

Ask to shadow adoption attorneys – look at the http://www.adoption attorneys.org website for the AAAA Fellows in your area

5. Birth Mother Representation Experience

Make sure adoption attorneys know you are available to represent birth moms. If you can first shadow an adoption attorney representing a birth mother that will help.

6. Local Adoption Agency Involvement

Attend local adoption agency programs and presentations. Get to know local agencies and social workers who might refer business to you.

7. Adoption Attorneys Conferences

Attend the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys conferences regarding adoption that are open to non-members. These are the Mid-Year Conferences and they are held in the Fall and posted on the AAAA website. There is one coming up on September 22-24, 2016 in New Orleans that is being held in conjunction with the National Council for Adoption.

8. Capital Law School Summer Program

Consider attending the Capital Law School week long summer program on adoption.
Join the ABA Family Law section – and more specifically the Adoption Sub-Committee.

 

Hope that helps you to get started!


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How do I become an Adoption Attorney?


Given the twenty-seven plus years that I have practiced adoption law, I frequently get asked by other attorneys how they can become an adoption attorney. Of course it helps if once already is practicing family law because custody and adoption matters often overlap. However, I am not a traditional family law attorney since I practice adoption and surrogacy – and actually first learned adoption law and then custody law. Here are my standard suggestions:

1. Adoption Law Courses

Take as many adoption law courses as you can – especially ones that are state specific. I have given quite a number of such courses that are available for purchase as webinars with Lawline that can be taken right at your desk and last only 90 minutes.

2. Virginia CLE Book

Purchase the Virginia CLE book on Adoption Procedures and Forms.

3. Guardian Ad Litem Certification

Get certified as a guardian ad litem. Then advise every adoption attorney that you know (see the ones listed on the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (“AAAA”) website at http://www.adoptionattorneys.org) that you are available to be appointed for the child in adoption cases. While some courts will not let attorneys select their guardians ad litem, some do – and adoption attorneys like having guardians ad litem who are familiar with adoption law.

4. Adoption Attorney Shadowing

Ask to shadow adoption attorneys – look at the http://www.adoption attorneys.org website for the AAAA Fellows in your area

5. Birth Mother Representation Experience

Make sure adoption attorneys know you are available to represent birth moms. If you can first shadow an adoption attorney representing a birth mother that will help.

6. Local Adoption Agency Involvement

Attend local adoption agency programs and presentations. Get to know local agencies and social workers who might refer business to you.

7. Adoption Attorneys Conferences

Attend the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys conferences regarding adoption that are open to non-members. These are the Mid-Year Conferences and they are held in the Fall and posted on the AAAA website. There is one coming up on September 22-24, 2016 in New Orleans that is being held in conjunction with the National Council for Adoption.

8. Capital Law School Summer Program

Consider attending the Capital Law School week long summer program on adoption.
Join the ABA Family Law section – and more specifically the Adoption Sub-Committee.

 

Hope that helps you to get started!

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