I can tell you as a young Connecticut Family Law Attorney with a few years of experience in Connecticut Family Law and more years as an attorney in Connecticut, that I went to the GAL/AMC training*.
At the end of the classes which were once a week for over a month, then a month Break and over a month more of classes totaling 30 Course Hours, Judge Munro gave us a closing speech. She told us that if we were not already a well established Family Law Attorney WE WOULD NEVER BE SELECTED TO WORK AS A GAL/AMC. I was thinking to myself WELL WHY DONT YOU FIX THAT! Unfortunately anytime one of us young attorneys complains about the system, we are dismissed as not knowing what we are talking about.
Even though the young family lawyers in Connecticut and the people of Connecticut are saying the exact same thing!
Even though the young family lawyers in Connecticut do the bulk of the pro-bono work!
I have yet to work on a GAL/AMC case, the certificate sits up on my wall.
We have to get re-certified every year and it is a time consuming program. Therefore all of us that do not get any work as a GAL/AMC will never get the experience and eventually it will be too much of a waste of time and money to get re-certified.
Just like in family law itself the established attorneys do everything in their power to keep young attorneys out. Unless you are one of the few young attorneys that get one of the few associate jobs eventually you will end up giving up and moving to another area of law or another state. Worse yet the top recruits who are at the top of their class from the top law schools may do family law at their first job but they can and will move to a more lucrative field of law.
This means that although today 70% of family law litigants are unrepresented this number will increase well up to 90% in the future. [I believe that we are at 85% at this time!]
This means that the rates for family lawyers are artificially inflated. The best in the business who go way above and beyond in representing you get $ 450-$ 500 and charge for literally everything and charge a 15 minute minimum. Also some of the worst family lawyers rates are $ 450-$500 and it is extremely difficult for a layperson to tell the difference.
Then there are hundreds of young hard working family law attorneys like myself who do not have the money or networking to get the clients. The established lawyers warn against us for their own financial gain and eventually drive us out of the business.
The fact is that 70 GAL/AMC's get most of the work in Connecticut out of the over 1,000 that are certified. The system benefits 70 well established family law attorneys at the expense of almost 1,000 other attorneys and millions of tax payers who use or are forced to use the system.
The GAL/AMC sytem is so corrupt that I cannot even get a simple GAL/AMC case to work on when I offer to do it pro-bono. Competition in the family law field has become non-existent at the expense of the people of Connecticut.
Unfortunately every time the State or a politician comes up with an idea to pay young lawyers a small fee to help out pro se parties or even for the state to connect young lawyers and pro se parties, it is always shot down.
Because the state calls one of the Attorneys who literally wrote the book on family law in Connecticut. He tells them that it is a bad idea with no explanation. They accept his judgment and kill the bill no questions asked.
He says that it is a bad idea because competition is against his financial interests and therefore the bill is against his financial interest. No argument is solicited in favor of the bill and the millions that could and would benefit from it.
Nothing changes and nothing will change until the people unify and come up with a realistic platform and let the politicians know that if there is not change they will be out of office.
*Identifying information has been removed to protect the author of this posting from any retaliation.