Document Type

Article

Abstract

Part I of this article outlines the historical context and addresses the child's right to legal representation. Part II discusses the child's legal status by defining the specific legal interests, her procedural rights as a party to the litigation, the right to choose counsel, and the child's right to be involved as a participant. The penultimate Part analyzes the role of the child's counsel, including an outline of the relevant statutes, the diametrically opposed positions of state legislatures and the organized bar, and the hopelessly conflicting contemporary case law. The final Part addresses the fundamental deficiencies of the “best interests” and “child's wishes” dichotomy, and suggests a hopefully better approach, one designed to respect and implement children's legal interests.