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Our Impact

Supporting & Defending New York City's Children & Youth

Reversing a 14 year old’s Delinquency Placement Order

A Family Court judge ordered fourteen-year-old R into ACS custody, citing his need for mental health and educational services that were not available in the community. When R was later accepted into a Special Education High School recommended by his Individual Educational Plan, his JRP attorneys acted quickly to re-open the hearing.

When that was denied, his attorneys appealed and obtained a stay of the judge’s order which enabled R to return home. After he enrolled in his new school, he began to get the attention he needed and his behavior stabilized. On appeal, the Family Court’s order was reversed.

We have a unique opportunity to change the path for children.

Angela Hines Staff Attorney, Juvenile Rights Practice

Juvenile Rights Community Partnership Project

Attorneys, Social Workers, paralegals and investigators with a passion for community outreach work formed the Juvenile Rights Community Partnership Project. Through partnerships with community groups and agencies that serve youth, our engagement with client communities throughout the city has expanded beyond the courthouse. Staff facilitate interactive Know Your Rights workshops in all five boroughs in community schools, community residence and at community programs.

By the Numbers

As the public defender for New York City’s children and youth, our Juvenile Rights Practice works on juvenile delinquency cases from arraignment to appeal and beyond, creating systemic change through legislative reform, policy advocacy, and impact litigation.


We represent 90% of children in family court.


Juvenile Rights interdisciplinary teams of Attorneys, Social Workers, Paralegals, and Investigators amplified the voice of children in 70,000+ appearances in Family Court.


During the last year, our Family/DV staff handled over 1,700 cases benefiting over 3,700 New Yorkers.

Fingerprints Expunged

Working on a longterm project with Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, the Juvenile Rights Practice Special Litigation Law Reform Unit (SLLRU) committed to reducing the stigma associated with the arrest and prosecution of youth.

In the process, over 15,000 children’s fingerprints have been destroyed since 2016, paving the way for young people to pursue the employment and other opportunities that can lead to the productive, rewarding futures that they deserve. The team continues to closely monitor the NYPD to ensure compliance and protect New York’s children from future violations.

A contribution to The Legal Aid Society is about more than money.

Every donation helps us offer essential legal services to thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers, helping people buy food, pay rent, and care for themselves and their families.

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