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Becoming a GAL in Missouri

Serving as a Guardian ad Litem can be both challenging – and incredibly rewarding.

Serving as a Guardian ad Litem can be both challenging – and incredibly rewarding. The Supreme Court of Missouri requires extensive training before a lawyer may be appointed by the court as a Guardian ad Litem, as dictated in Standard 14.0. If you want to become a GAL, The Missouri Bar is here to help! Here are four of the requirements for certification:

1. Lawyers wanting to be a GAL must attend eight hours of training to be certified and eligible for appointment by the court. These eight hours count towards a lawyer’s mandatory MCLE hours, but the training content must be specifically GAL focused in order to qualify for certification and appointment. MOBarCLE offers several of these opportunities throughout the year.

2. Lawyers must complete permanency planning training prior to certification and appointment as a GAL. This permanency planning is the idea of promoting a permanent living situation for the child while guaranteeing that the minimum sufficient level of care is reached. Lawyers should confirm that their GAL training sessions include this planning information.

3. Following a training, lawyers must provide an affidavit or other evidence of completion with the appointing court by July 31st each year. Lawyers can be included on the GAL appointment list in as many circuits as they wish but must contact each circuit court for instructions.

4. All GALs must continue to attend three hours of training each year specific to promoting the education and skills of Guardians ad Litem. These three hours also qualify towards mandatory MCLE hours. Each year, lawyers are required to provide evidence of completion to each circuit court in which they wish to be appointed as a GAL.

If you are interested in becoming a Guardian ad Litem and are in need of the required training, MoBarCLE offers many opportunities for both the eight-hour certification training, which includes the required permanency planning session, and the three hour re-certification training. 

Stay updated on future GAL trainings here.