Need Legal Aid Help? Get Started

Family Law Practice Group advocates for women and children

Posted March 20, 2024
12:00 pm

Legal Aid's Family Law Practice Group

When families are threatened by domestic violence, child endangerment and other safety issues, they need someone who will advocate for them and help bring positive change in their lives. Legal Aid’s Family Law Practice Group aims to do just that.

The attorneys, paralegals, and volunteers that make up the Family Law group share one common goal – to ensure that survivors of domestic violence have the tools and legal resources to create stability for themselves and their families. In practice, this can mean legal representation to help a client obtain a divorce, a civil protection order (CPO), custody, spousal and/or child support and more. It can also mean helping victims of human trafficking and those who may be experiencing elder abuse.

“We are a human-centered, trauma-informed organization committed to its mission and values of cultivating a culture that respects clients as the experts of their own experiences,” said Tonya Whitsett, Managing Attorney of the Family Law group. “We listen carefully to our clients, acknowledge their needs, but also look beyond the primary concern and strive to provide holistic solutions. We respect the autonomy of our clients and will first ask what they believe they need, or think is best for them.”

In 2023, the Family Law Group helped 1,506 people through 526 cases. Of these cases, over 87% involved households led by women.

To ensure success for each client, the Family Law team works closely with other Legal Aid departments, including Intake and Client Support Specialists.

“We consider short-term and sustainable solutions through open discussions about case progression, and specific case support services,” said Tonya. “We regularly review and refine case acceptance guidelines to ensure they appropriately reflect the most pressing needs in the community, and we explore ways to distribute opportunities across and within teams.”

Learn more about Legal Aid’s resources on child and family-related issues:

Originally published in Legal Aid's "Poetic Justice" newsletter, Volume 21, Issue 1 in Winter/Spring 2024. See full issue at this link: “Poetic Justice” Volume 21, Issue 1.

Quick Exit