NASW Foundation Homepage
NASW Foundation Board Members
NASW Foundation Programs
NASW Foundation Partners and Donors
NASW Foundation Contact
Make a Donation
NASW Foundation Events
NASW Foundation Fellowship, Scholarship and Research Awards
NASW Social Work Pioneers
NASW Foundation Sitemap

NASW Foundation National Programs

NASW Social Work Pioneers®


Pioneers Main Page
Search the Pioneers


Sol Gothard


Pioneering Contributions


Judge Sol Gothard has devoted his career to protecting the abused and to improving the legal system to which they are entrusted.  As a strong advocate for forensic social work, Gothard blended the components of both professions to resolve legal issues.  Social work forensics covers social work practice in the criminal and civil areas, including interpersonal violence, specialty courts, child and adult welfare and restorative justice.  Gothard has been a leader in the field and his court was recognized nationally for its comprehensive and innovative evaluation and treatment programs.


Career Highlights


Sol Gothard was elected to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal for the state of Louisiana in 1986, where he served as senior judge until his retirement in 2005.  Before that he was Chief Judge of the Juvenile Court, Parish of Jefferson, State of Louisiana, having served there for fourteen years.  In addition he taught as an adjunct professor at Southern University at New Orleans School of Social Work.  He was an outstanding professor who inspired and motivated students.


Gothard early social work practice was as a probation officer.  While serving as Director of Probation in the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, he attended law school at night and was then elected to the bench of the Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court in 1972.


Biographic Data


Sol Gothard earned his M.S.W. from Case Western University in 1957.  He attended law school at night and in 1962 graduated from Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans.  He received his B.A from the City College of New York in 1953.


Significant Achievements and Awards


Gothard was selected Citizen of the Year by NASW's Louisiana State Chapter.  He was also awarded the Alfred E. Clay award for significant contributions to children by the Children’s Bureau of Greater New Orleans.  He was honored as Alumnus of the Year at Case Western Reserve University.  Gothard was also president of the Louisiana Council of Juvenile Court Judges from 1965-1967.


Gothard was the first recipient of the Sol Gothard Lifetime Achievement Award, established by the National Organization of Forensic Social Work in 2012.  In 2013, he was honored as Peoples Health Champion by Peoples Health Insurance for his work in revitalizing a veteran’s organization which became the fastest-growing J.W.V(Jewish War Veterans) post in the U.S.


Gothard has been an NASW member since 1957 and holds the ACSW credential.  He is currently commander of the New Orleans Post of the Jewish War Veterans of America.


Significant Publications


Gothard, J. S., & Ivker, N. A. C. (2000). The evolving law of alleged delayed memories of childhood sexual abuse. Child maltreatment, 5(2), 176-189.


Gothard, H. S. (1993). Children in Courtrooms: A Commentary. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 1(3), 115-118.


Gothard, S. (1987). The admissibility of evidence in child sexual abuse cases. Child Welfare: Journal of Policy, Practice, and Program.


Gothard, S., & Lipscomb, N. (1986). The Role of the Social Worker in Abuse, Neglect and Delinquency of Children. School of Social Work, Tulane University. 

 Besharov, D.J. & Gothard, S. (1975) .Juvenile Justice Advocacy: Practice in a Unique Court.  Juvenile Justice, 26(4), 41-43.



© National Association of Social Workers. All Rights Reserved.