Preserving Independence, Hope, and Dignity since 1967

L. David Shear Children’s Law Center

The L. David Shear Children's Law Center (CLC) of Bay Area Legal Services (BALS) provides high quality, holistic, client-directed legal representation to vulnerable and victimized children who have been abused, neglected and/or abandoned, in the overburdened Hillsborough County child welfare system.

In Hillsborough County, nearly 50% of the children removed from their homes are ages five and under. The CLC represents this vulnerable population and their older siblings. CLC attorneys also represent children with special needs of all ages. The CLC follows the American Bar Association's recommended model of representing children — an attorney and social worker zealously advocate for our child clients in and out of court to ensure our clients receive necessary services and achieve permanency in a safe and loving home promptly. The CLC is appointed to cases by the court, sua sponte, or upon request by the CLC or another party.

The CLC has integrated its legal representation of foster children into Hillsborough County’s social services system by collaborating with the courts, local children’s agencies, and other groups serving abused, abandoned and neglected children. Our attorneys participate in various system reform efforts to improve outcomes for all children in the child welfare system.

The CLC is named after BALS supporter, attorney L. David Shear, in recognition of his significant contributions to our community and BALS. The CLC receives support from the Hillsborough County Bar Foundation.


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Serving Florida: Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota Counties.
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