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Prospective Guardians Ad Litem

In General
Role of a Guardian
Training and CLE Credit
Practical Workshop Series
Application Process
GAL Frequently Asked Questions
Testimonials- See What Other GALs are Saying About the Program


In General

The Guardian Ad Litem Program seeks dedicated and responsible people interested in being trained to become a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) in Housing Court. While most GALs are attorneys, it is not necessary to be an attorney to become a GAL in Housing Court. Yet, it is necessary that the prospective GAL have some legal or social service background.

If you need additional information, feel free to call or send an email to Denise Colón‑Greenaway, Esq., MSW, Special Counsel for Court‑Based Interdisciplinary Programs, at (646) 386‑5408 or at

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Role of a Guardian

Court appointed GALs are expected to advocate on behalf of their ward with the goal of making any necessary interventions to prevent eviction. Although the specific responsibilities of a GAL vary according to the case, common duties often include: making court appearances, coordinating with social service agencies in an effort to secure needed entitlements or services, and negotiating settlements with other parties involved in the case. Service may be performed in any of the five boroughs.

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Upon consent, the Human Resources Administration (HRA) will compensate GALs for their work upon completion of a case, provided the ward is also an active APS client at the time of the appointment or becomes an active client during the course of the GAL’s representation, and provided the GAL complies with specific minimum requirements. Compensation is fixed at $750 per case for any appointments made on or after January 1, 2017. Appointments made prior to January 1, 2017 will be compensated at $600 per case.

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Training, CLE Credit, and Pro-bono Work

The GAL Program offers FREE training to prospective GALs throughout the year. Trainings are either offered “live” or a video replay is given of the latest “live” training. Attorneys are provided with free CLE credits (including 1 Ethics credit) upon completion of the training.* GALs are required to accept at least 3 pro bono appointments per year. Pro bono appointments are appointments involving a ward that is not a client of Adult Protective Services (APS) and therefore do not carry compensation. For information on the GAL program's next training date, go to news and announcements. To read what people are saying about the Guardian Ad Litem training program, refer to GAL training feedback.

*Please note that attorneys admitted to the NY State Bar for less than two years cannot receive CLE credit for watching video replays, but are welcome to participate in the GAL Program.

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Practical Workshop Series

The Practical Skills Workshop Series consists of monthly workshops designed to supplement initial training provided to GALs and address issues relevant to their work.  Workshops are facilitated by guest speakers with extensive knowledge on the respective topic.  The workshops physically take place at 111 Centre Street in New York County.  However, for convenience purposes, they are also offered via video conference at the various Borough Housing Courts.

Past workshop topics have included:

• What All GALs Should Know About Article 81 Guardianship
• How to Prepare for Trial
• Working with Mentally Ill or "Difficult" Clients
• Heavy Duty Cleanings: Parameters, Guidelines & Strategies for Working With Clients Who Exhibit Hoarding Behavior
• NYCHA Administrative Procedures and Practices
• APS Operations and Referrals
• Understanding Section 8
• HASA (HIV/AIDS Services Administration)
• Immigration Status
• Social Security Benefits
• Roommate Holdovers and Non-Payments
• Basics of Family Eviction Prevention Supplement (FEPS)
• Introduction to NYCHA Administrative Hearings and Article 78 Proceedings
• GAL Advocacy for Wards Living in SROs
• Case Law Updates and Practical Suggestions Applicable to Housing Court GALs

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Application Process

Submission of a completed application, resume, and two professional references is a necessary pre-requisite to attending the GAL training. If you are interested in becoming a GAL, you should first obtain an application form. Once complete, please print and forward all necessary documents to the following address:

Civil Court of the City of New York
Guardian Ad Litem Program
111 Centre Street, Rm. 1240
New York, NY 10013
Attn: Denise Colon-Greenaway, Esq., MSW

Someone from the Program will contact you as soon as the next training date is established.* At that time, you will be asked to participate in an interview and undergo a free background check. Only candidates who successfully complete the interview and background check will be invited to participate in the GAL training.



















































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