Mikila represents children throughout Brooklyn. As a staff attorney in our Juvenile Rights Practice, Mikila works with her clients to connect them with the resources they need to thrive. Mikila makes these legal matters easy to understand for her young clients, giving them a say in their future.
A Child’s Voice
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As Mikila works with her young clients, she wants to set them up for success. To start, she asks the simple question: “What are my client’s needs in this current case?” And for each client, these needs vary: from cases on abuse, neglect, or custody issues. Once she finds out what children need, Mikila works tirelessly to ensure those needs are met. From advocating for her clients in the courtroom, to connecting them with supportive services, to referring families to other units within LAS for legal help, Mikila tackles the challenges her clients are facing head on. But her work doesn’t stop there. Mikila also asks “What happens to this child and to this family once I leave the picture?” For Mikila, the best thing for a child is that they never have to come back to family court again. She is always looking to create long-term stability for children, working towards solutions that foster stronger families. Mikila ensures that her clients are on the path towards a better future.
As a staff attorney, Mikila is the legal voice for children in need. Often, this requires Mikila to break down complex legal issues for her clients. As she explains, “an eight year old has no idea what a judge does.” Because of that, “it’s important for me to let them know that this person makes important decisions on where they live, who they can be around, and what their daily life is like.” For that reason, Mikila is constantly talking with her clients, seeing what they want, what they need, and helping them navigate our legal system. In this role, Mikila acts as their voice, respecting their wishes and helping make them a reality. And while others within the legal system find it easy to condescend to these young New Yorkers, Mikila always reminds herself that “children deserve a strong voice in the courtroom, regardless of their circumstances, since their lives are most significantly impacted by the family court intervention.”
Keeping Families Together
Mikila’s victories bring families together. In a recent case, two children were removed from their mother and placed with a family member. Mikila represented the two young kids, who wanted nothing more than to be back with their mom. The mother eventually worked through her own legal issues, and Mikila helped coordinate getting the young boy and girl back into her custody. As it turns out, the last court date of the case was scheduled on the young girl’s birthday. As a surprise, Mikila brought her a birthday present to the courtroom. When she gave her the present that day, “that little girl was so excited.” For Mikila, too, that day meant a lot: “It was a culmination of everything this family went through to be back together again.” With Mikila’s help, the mother and her children walked out of court that day as a family again.
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With your help, Mikila and her colleagues can make equal justice a reality
for even more New Yorkers in need.