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Legal Extern – Summer 2021

National CASA/GAL Association

Legal Extern – Summer 2021

Location:  Remote

The National CASA/GAL Association, together with state and local member programs, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every child who has experienced abuse or neglect can be safe, have a permanent home, and the opportunity to thrive. The 948 state organizations and local programs in the CASA/GAL network harness 97,000 volunteers to advocate for 276,000 children annually.

Position Summary

The Legal Extern supports the work of the Office of Legal Affairs through legal research, writing, analysis, recommendation of best practices, and preparation of resources in areas related to best-interest advocacy for children who have experienced abuse or neglect. The Legal Extern will exemplify the Office of Legal Affairs values: (1) Providing Pragmatic Advice, (2) Providing Strategic Guidance, (3) Centering on the Needs of the Judge, the Child, the Family, and the Advocate, (4) Thinking from the Perspective of the User, (5) Anticipating Needs, and (6) Engaging in Thought Leadership.

Recent Legal Externs have had a positive impact on CASA/GAL advocacy by developing resources for judges aimed at optimizing the impact of CASA/GAL advocates and developing guidance on best practices for screening of volunteers. The 2021 Legal Extern will make similar impact by developing resources and toolkits related to new legal frameworks relevant to best-interest advocacy.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Conducts legal research related to best-interest advocacy for children in the child welfare system
  • Prepares written deliverables setting forth the results of the research
  • Makes recommendations on effective ways of harnessing the law to optimize the impact of CASA/GAL programs and volunteers and promote family preservation, thriving children, and racial equity
  • Develops written resources and/or toolkits
  • Other duties as required

Skills the Legal Extern Can Develop in this Position

  • Legal research
  • Writing and presentation (particularly, user-centered design)
  • Advocacy (written and oral)
  • Critical thinking
  • Policy development
  • Client management
  • Time management

Position Requirements

  • Current enrollment in law school
  • Strong interpersonal skills, sound judgment, and the ability to work independently
  • Ability to embrace and exemplify organizational competencies and values, including a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Exceptional project management, prioritization and planning skills
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written


This is a time-limited unpaid position for course credit. Hours will depend on the schedule of the Legal Extern, the course requirements, and the needs of National CASA/GAL. The Extern will receive no salary or benefits. The Legal Extern works remotely and reports to the General Counsel, Chief Public Policy Officer. To apply, submit a letter of interest, a resume, and a law school transcript to Russell Jacobs at

Organizational Values
Adaptability ◦ Collaboration ◦ Integrity ◦ Respect ◦ Quality ◦ Service ◦ Stewardship

National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association for Children