Attorney, Teen/LA Program
What unique issues do young people face that may be different from adults?
Young people manage many of the responsibilities of older adults, but without the same level of experience or resources. Everything is relatively new and thus has greater capacity to be formative and/or traumatic. It’s hard to know what you don’t know, whether it’s about relationships, parenting, navigating the courts or other resources, or understanding your rights. They juggle family life and relationships with school, work and peer pressure – all while still growing themselves.
What is challenging about your work?
Sometimes it’s challenging to come into a case with a lot of bad facts. My young clients have often done things that the courts would not look kindly on. A lot of my job is not only educating my clients on their rights and options, but also teaching them how to be an adult when it comes to actions that might impact their case.
What is most rewarding about your work at LACLJ?
I like helping people and helping them learn new things. By educating my clients on the court process, their rights and options, and general life tips to improve their case, I am providing something that will hopefully benefit them beyond the court order at hand.
What might someone be surprised to know about Teen/LA?
Many people are surprised at how often dating violence and sexual assault occurs, especially with teens and young adults. We don’t want to think about our children experiencing things, or perhaps we believe that we “taught them better,” but preventing dating violence and sexual assault is a lot more complicated than that.
Share a fun fact.
I’m also a single parent, so I know how hard it is to juggle all of life with a young child. I guess this is only a “fun fact” if you consider that kids can be pretty cute, and it’s always amazing to see them learn new things.