Representing 90% of all children in New York City Family Court

The Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice (JRP) offers wide ranging legal services to children and families with court involvement. As a national leader in child advocacy, JRP represents children who appear before Family Court on child welfare, juvenile delinquency and PINS matters.

Over 200 experts at JRP, including staff, attorneys, social workers, paralegals, investigators and support staff work tirelessly to provide the most comprehensive legal representation possible for our clients. JRP staff specialize in meeting the unique needs of New York’s vulnerable children.  Our clients benefit from a Practice that is committed to client directed representation and to the ideal that each child, individually, has a right to be heard regarding the important decisions being made that will affect their lives.

Through long standing use of interdisciplinary collaboration, JRP staff provide representation in a holistic manner, ensuring each facet of our clients’ lives is addressed appropriately by the systems and institutions that are established to provide support, services and in some cases, care. JRP’s work involves a considerable amount trial work as well as out-of-court advocacy.  Our staff offer extensive support to clients and families addressing the educational, social, and psychological issues that often arise when fighting for the rights of children involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. 

JRP’s delivery of client services is enhanced by our innovative projects and expertise.  The Kathryn A McDonald Educational Advocacy Project (EAP) provide specialized legal and social work assistance in cases requiring educational advocacy. The Special Litigations and Law Reform unit addresses the macro inequities our clients face and seek systemic change. The Adolescent Practice Teams in each borough provide representation necessary to ensure clients who are aging out of the foster care system receive the entitlements required by law and regulations.  The Trauma Advocacy Project  in each borough is a team of staff with expertise in working with children who are the subject of the most difficult abuse cases.