Corporate in-house counsel and public interest advocates learn how to represent vulnerable youth in children's cases in immigration, child welfare, juvenile justice, education, and substance abuse cases

Baker McKenzie's Pro Bono Practice is teaming with Facebook, Inc. and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy ("NITA") to host a training session for child advocates interested in assisting vulnerable youth navigate the legal system. 

The two-and-a-half-day program will train a group of 40 attorneys, from corporate in-house and public interest backgrounds, looking to serve as pro bono counsel for children, as well as expand and enhance their own trial skills.

"We are thrilled to support NITA in their mission to train and develop skilled and knowledgeable legal advocates," said Paul Grewal, Deputy General Counsel for Facebook. "NITA's resources and Baker McKenzie's expertise are key to training advocates to help vulnerable youth, and Facebook is proud to support this effort."

The training will leverage NITA's "learn-by-doing" methodology, teaching advocacy skills applicable in different settings for system-involved children. Top NITA instructors, children's law experts and Baker McKenzie attorneys will teach substantive areas of law and train participants in advocacy skills and special needs of children, including direct and cross examination, motion argument, interviewing child clients, use of expert witnesses, professional responsibility, and understanding the effects of substance abuse on families with children.

"Our hope in hosting this program with Facebook and NITA is that more corporate in-house counsel will now feel confident in their ability to represent children in navigating the different systems children find themselves in from foster care to immigration to criminal justice to education," said Angela Vigil, Partner and Executive Director for the Pro Bono Practice at Baker McKenzie. "These are the kinds of life events where having a knowledgeable advocate can mean the difference between justice and injustice."

The training is part of NITA's goal to encourage, support and provide advocacy training for public and private attorneys engaged in public service practices.

"NITA is grateful for the partnership with Baker McKenzie and Facebook as we pursue our mission in training and developing skilled and ethical legal advocates with a goal of improving the adversarial justice system and helping children in need," said Wendy McCormack, incoming Executive Director of NITA.

About Facebook

Founded in 2004, Facebook's mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what's going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them. Facebook is a trademark of Facebook, Inc.

About Baker McKenzie Pro Bono

Baker McKenzie's pro bono mission is to deliver first-class legal services to the underserved and disadvantaged by fostering an environment that encourages and promotes service and to promote and sponsor activities that provide opportunities for all Firm personnel, independently, and in partnership with our clients, to contribute to the well-being of the communities in which we practice and live. Learn more.

About the National Institute for Trial Advocacy

The National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) is the world’s leader in advocacy skills training and publications. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Boulder, Colorado, NITA’s mission is to train and mentor lawyers to be competent and ethical advocates in the pursuit of justice. To learn more, visit nita.org.

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