Guardian Ad Litem Training Videos

GAL Training Videos now available ONLINE! 

Click here to view the six videos

The Child Advocacy Committee of The Mississippi Bar, together with The University of Mississippi School of Law and Mississippi College School of Law, has produced a series of on demand videos for purposes of certifying more guardians ad litem (GALs) to increase the number of available certified GALs and provide an affordable means for certification for solo practitioners and attorneys whose firms will not pay for the cost of certification.  

The informative training videos offers detailed and varied perspectives on the role of GALs in our legal system. Panola County Youth Court Judge Adam Pittman offers a perspective from the bench. Social worker Tamiko Mackey discusses ideal methods of interviewing children. Leading authorities in the field, including professor-practitioners Debbie Bell, David Calder, and Shirley Kennedy, present valuable information addressing the role of the special advocate, frequently encountered ethical issues, procedural matters, and much more.

Links to the videos are provided above. The videos have been approved for six (6) hours of CLE credit. Corresponding supplemental written materials are available in PDF format on this page. These instructional materials have been approved by the Bar and comply with the Mississippi CLE requirements. Attorneys who view the GAL videos may utilize the training for both certification and CLE purposes. As of August 1, 2012, attorneys may receive CLE credit only once for viewing the videos. Attorneys may, however, become re-certified for one additional year by viewing the videos second time, but they will not receive any additional CLE credit for doing so.

After viewing the video, an attorney will sign an affidavit verifying that he or she has watched the video, understands its contents, and will comply with the regulations governing guardians ad litem. The attorney will then be placed on a list of lawyers willing to serve pro bono on one case per upcoming calendar year. That bar member will remain in a queue of volunteers for one year from the execution date of the affidavit. The Mississippi Bar will monitor earned credit hours, maintain records, and furnish you with accurate and up-to-date lists so that you will know the pool of volunteer attorneys available to serve within your jurisdiction.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please email [email protected]. Thank you for taking this moment to learn more about this opportunity to provide minors in Mississippi the quality representation that they deserve.  

CLE Credit and Certification

To obtain continuing legal education (CLE) credit and to become a certified GAL, you will need to download the Affidavit and CLE Form and print your Certificate of Completion after you submit credit for the course. Complete and mail both forms and the Certificate of Completion, along with $25 to The Mississippi Bar, PO Box 2168, Jackson, Mississippi 39225-2168. 

NOTE: You must watch all six videos to receive a Certificate of Completion.

        Download the CLE Form 

        Download the Affidavit

The following written materials are available in PDF format for individual download and printing. These supplemental materials may be useful to Guardians Ad Litem (GAL) becoming certified through the Guardian Ad Litem Training DVDs made available through the Young Lawyers Division of The Mississippi Bar. 

These materials are the property of the professors, lawyers, and social worker who served as presenters in the Guardian Ad Litem Training. Although the following materials are available for reference purposes, these written works remain the work product of the author/presenters therein. 

Disc 1 - Duties of Guardian (1 hour, 15 minutes)
Panel: Debbie Bell, Shirley Kennedy, David Calder 


Power Point Presentation, Shirley Kennedy

GAL Representation, Debbie Bell

Order Appointing GAL

Checklist for GAL Investigation

Guardian ad Litem Interview

Instructions for obtaining youth court and DHS records

Motion and order for issuance of subpoena duces tecum for youth court records

Subpoena duces tecum for youth court

Subpoena duces tecum for DHS

Order authorizing release of youth court or DHS records

GAL as expert witness

Disc 2 - Duties of Guardian (1 hour)
Panel: David Calder, Shirley Kennedy 


            Same as Disc 1 materials 

Disc 3 - Custody (1 hour)

Presenter: Debbie Bell 


         Custody and Visitation


Disc 4 - Interviewing Children (1 hour)
Presenter: Tomiko Mackey 


          Power Point Slides, Tomiko Mackey 

Disc 5 - Special Topics (45 minutes)
anel: Shirley Kennedy, Debbie Bell, Adam Pittman 


            Termination and Adoption Actions

            Rule 81(d) 

Disc 6 - Ethical Issues (1 hour)
Moderator: Debbie Bell

Panel: David Calder, Shirley Kennedy, and Adam Pittman 


            Summary of Youth Court Rules

            Summary of Rules of Youth Court Practice 


            Youth Court Rules

            American Bar Association GAL Standards