The attorneys of Dependency Legal Services (DLS) use the legal process to work toward systems improvement and hold system partners accountable whenever necessary. 

As part of these efforts, we draft and advocate for legislation that affects outcomes for families and youth. Our team also provides training and serves as an educational resource so that others working in the legal system are empowered to create change and better serve clients using our experience and expertise.

Recent Legislative Accomplishments

Law book

Dependency Legal Services co-sponsored several bills that were signed into law by Governor Newsome. As with all of our legislative efforts, we strive to advocate for policy changes that support families, increase reunification and promote stability for foster youth throughout California. 

Training & Education

Lawyers at a classroom

Knowledge sharing is an essential part of achieving positive outcomes for families in California and beyond. DLS provides the highest level of attorney training, mentoring, and supervision to its staff and contractors. In addition, DLS attorneys use publications, teaching and training opportunities to strengthen skills and serve as a resource for others in the field.

Are you interested in training from Dependency Legal Services? Contact us at to let us know about your needs and interests.


Our personnel write and edit the leading treatise on California juvenile law. We have also served as editors and contributing authors to other leading publications, including the first-ever national book relating to parent representation in child welfare proceedings. 


We continue to teach effective representation throughout the country.  Through our service at the state and federal levels, DLS has access to the state’s and nation’s foremost authorities in juvenile law and invests its resources in having these professionals teach and provide case-specific technical assistance as needed. DLS personnel have taught on nearly every topic relating to child welfare representation, including effective client communication, trial advocacy and how to navigate agency processes to obtain results for clients.


DLS believes in quality, consistent training. Our attorneys have planned curricula for and taught in a large number of state and national conferences, including Beyond the Bench, National Association of Counsel for Children and ABA Center on Children and the Law. DLS also works closely with other training providers to bring state and national experts to train our attorneys, in addition to having our team learn from local experts whenever possible.