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Illinois model creates an ongoing opportunity to modify role of counsel as needs arise, taking
into account the voices of practitioners and experts who may submit comments. In addition to
modifying the child representative statute, certain counties in Illinois also adopted model
appointment orders defining the role of counsel in custody cases and allowing the court to
designate the duties assigned, which allows for clarity of practice.240 Practice can also be
improved and made more uniform with training. Multiple jurisdictions have also implemented
uniform training requirements for children’s attorneys to promote uniform and competent
lawyering on behalf of children.241 Basic training for competency is also a recommendation
under the ABA Standards, which lay out the qualifications that a children’s lawyer should
possess. Promoting high-quality and consistent training for children’s lawyers is another means
in which jurisdictions can promote improved practice even without litigation.
In short, Kentucky’s Morgan litigation is one model for seeking role clarity, but may not be the
most complete or best model. Practitioners from other jurisdictions may use lessons from
Morgan to seek role clarity in their own jurisdictions, but may choose not to follow the route of
Children’s lawyers must have clarity on their roles, obligations and authority. Lack of role
clarity often puts children’s lawyers in the compromised position of being both a reporter to the
240 See 13 ILL. PRAC. FAM. L. 750 ILL. COMP. STAT. 5/506( 5) (West 2016) for the Cook County, Illinois appointment
form. See also ABA Standards Model Forms, 37 FAM. L. Q. 131 (Summer 2003).
241 See, e.g,. 750 ILL. COMP. STAT. 5/506(a)( 3)(West 2016) (“a child representative shall have received training in
child advocacy or shall possess such experience as determined to be equivalent to such training by the chief judge of
the circuit where the child representative has been appointed.”).