Representing Children Who Can’t or Won’t Direct Counsel: Best Interests Lawyering or No Lawyer at All?

Child advocacy groups argue with increasing force that children’s lawyers should function as traditional, client-directed attorneys. Consistent with this trend, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers recently revised its standards for representation of children to flatly oppose the appointment of lawyers for children who lack capacity to direct counsel. This Article questions the Academy’s stance and contends that the professional role of an attorney is sufficiently flexible to encompass the representation of children who are unable or unwilling to provide coherent direction for counsel.