National Center for Youth Law


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At the Center — Apr-Jun 2013

NCYL’s Francis Guzman Speaks at Law Day in Albuquerque

Realizing the Dream: Equality for All

Francis Guzman spoke at the first Law Day ever held at the Children’s Court in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The event focused on empowering troubled youth to believe in themselves and realize their true potential. Read more

Judge William Parnall, Judge John Julio Romero, Judge Reed Sheppard and Law Day speaker, Francis “Frankie” Guzman

NCYL Welcomes Summer Law Clerks and Interns!

Anisha Asher

Anisha Asher

Anisha Asher

Anisha Asher, a second year student at the University of Michigan Law School, will be assisting Senior Attorney Bill Graham researching psychotropic medication policies concerning foster care youth. She will also be assisting Henry A. v. Willden, a suit to improve foster care and child welfare in Clark County, Nevada.

When she returns to school, Anisha will serve as the Secretary of the Education Law and Policy Society as well as the Cultural Committee Co-Chair of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association.

Anisha graduated cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles where she majored in Linguistics and minored in Education. While at UCLA, she worked as a JusticeCorps member, assisting pro se litigants in family and housing law. Anisha also worked as an Administrative Intern at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles where she worked in Direct Legal Services as an aid to immigrant and non-English speaking clients. Anisha is proficient in Spanish and Hindi-Urdu. She plans to eat her way through the Bay Area this summer.

Chelsea Bell

Chelsea Bell

Chelsea Bell

Chelsea Bell is a ­second year student at the UCLA School of Law in the David J. Epstein Program for Public Interest Law and Policy with a Critical Race Studies specialization. Chelsea will be assisting Staff Attorney Hannah Benton this summer exploring ways to eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline. Chelsea is a certified Group Home Administrator and Youth Advocate. At UCLA, she participated in various community clinics including the Homeless Veterans Clinic, the Reentry Clinic, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals clinics. Chelsea has also tutored homeless high school students.  Next year Chelsea will be student co-chair of the UCLA chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and the Immigration Society.

Chelsea graduated from the United Nations University for Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica with a Masters in International Law and Human Rights. After the University for Peace, she worked at Casa Libre Homeless Youth Shelter, a project of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law in Los Angeles.  At Casa Libre, Chelsea not only worked on developing a network of youth service providers in Los Angeles County, but also organized homeless immigrant youth to ensure they were included in community discussions and redevelopment projects.

Chelsea graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a major in Socio-Cultural Anthropology and a minor in Global Peace and Securities. Chelsea worked at UCSB as a Grant Outreach Coordinator where she publicized and coordinated community support for a music initiative designed to reach low-income, Spanish speaking families in the area. Chelsea is proficient in Spanish.

Clare Kruger

Clare Kruger

Clare Kruger

Clare Kruger is a rising third year student at Georgetown University Law Center. This summer at NCYL, she will be assisting Senior Attorney Michael Harris with his work regarding the impact of implicit bias in the juvenile justice system and its role in the school-to-prison pipeline.

As a Public Interest Law Scholar and Fellow, Clare is committed to a career in juvenile justice. At Georgetown, Clare interns with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia in the Juvenile Services Program, representing juveniles detained at the Youth Services Center. Last summer, Clare was a Law Clerk in the Juvenile Division of the San Francisco Public Defender. In her third year at Georgetown, Clare will participate in the Juvenile Justice Clinic, representing indigent youth in delinquent proceedings.

Clare graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. At UCLA, she tutored and mentored incarcerated youth at Vernon Kilpatrick Juvenile Probation Camp. After college and prior to law school, Clare waitressed at Chez Panisse and volunteered for the Beat Within, teaching writing workshops in Alameda County Juvenile Hall. She also spent time as an English Instructor at the Marcavalle Juvenile Rehabilitation Center in Cusco, Peru.

Jane Schroeder

Jane Schroeder

Jane Schroeder

Jane Schroeder is entering her third-year at the University of Washington School of Law. This summer she will be assisting attorney Erin Liotta with ongoing impact litigation, including NYCL’s case to reform the foster care system in Clark County, Nevada.

As a student in the Children and Youth Legislative Advocacy Clinic at UW Law, Jane drafted and lobbied for legislation to end the widespread dissemination of juvenile offense records in Washington State. Jane also worked as a Legal Intern at the Center for Children and Youth Justice, where she helped former foster youth resolve their civil legal issues as part of the Lawyers Fostering Independence Program.

Jane graduated from McGill University in Québec with a major in Environment and a minor in Women’s Studies. During her year between undergrad and law school, Jane interned for the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots and Shoots program, where she wrote outreach and educational materials to empower youth to become agents for change in their communities, and she lived abroad in Belgium, where she worked as a live-in au pair.

Kelly Orians

Kelly Orians

Kelly Orians

Kelly Orians is a second year law student at the University of California, Los Angeles Law School in the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy and the Critical Race Studies Program. Kelly is assisting Attorney Frankie Guzman on his project to address direct file reform in California. The project focuses on challenging the practice of prosecuting and jailing children in California’s adult criminal justice system and advocating for alternative sentencing and local treatment of youth charged with serious offenses.

At UCLA Kelly is active in El Centro Legal (a student led clinical program) as the Co-Chair of Training, the Co-Chair of the Skid-Row Legal Clinic, and the Co-Chair of the Re-Entry Clinic providing volunteer based legal services across Los Angeles . Kelly is also the Advocacy Co-Chair of the Criminal Justice Society at UCLA, as well as a member on the SB 9 Education Committee, a committee dedicated to engaging law students in representing people sentenced as juveniles to life without the possibility of parole before the courts and the parole board.

Prior to starting law school Kelly was the Coordinator of the Campaign to End Life Without Parole Sentencing for Juveniles in Louisiana, a project of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisana and Citizens for a Second Chances.  In this position Kelly coordinated policy, litigation, and media strategies and also provided direct services to clients returning home from prison.

Kelly graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder summa cum laude with a double major in Political Science and Women and Gender Studies, and a minor in Ethnic Studies. Kelly is an avid backpacker and mountain climber and has traveled across Asia and Europe to raise money for the Citizens for Second Chances Re-Entry Fund, which promotes alternatives to incarceration and human rights.

Lily Eagle Dorman Colby

Lily Eagle Dorman Colby

Lily Eagle Dorman Colby

Lily Eagle Dorman Colby is a third year student at Berkeley Law School and will be assisting Maya Cooper with the FosterEd Initiative. Lily is a Boalt Hall Dean’s Fellow, a member of the Financial Aid Committee, and the Co-Director of Advocates for Youth Justice.

Lily has worked in a variety of policy related positions. She has interned in the California Assembly, the U.S. Senate, as well as the office of the Former Speaker of the House. She was a policy intern for the Child Welfare League of America coordinating with national organizations, authoring articles, and promoting foster youth engagement in federal policy. Lily also worked as an intern with the American Bar Association: Center on Children and the Law conducting research on foster care education, child nutrition, and young fatherhood.

In 2010, Lily graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. At Yale, she was awarded the Alumni Community Service Award and the Yale Public Service Fellowship where she trained statewide Court Appointed Special Advocate coordinators on educational advocacy and developed a college application handbook for Connecticut youth in out of home placement.

Before age 19, Lily was an emancipated foster youth, an All-American wrestler, and a foster parent for her autistic brother.

Rohan Grey

Rohan Grey

Rohan Grey

Rohan Grey is a third year student and John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellow at Columbia Law School, and will be assisting Staff Attorney Fiza Quraishi with public sector structural reform at the intersection of juvenile justice, child welfare, and mental health.

At Columbia, Rohan serves on the student board of the Education Law and Policy Society, the Workers’ Rights Student Coalition, and the Modern Money Network, plays in the Law Revue band, and has volunteered as a debate and moot court coach with Legal Outreach and the High School Law Institute.

Rohan has previously interned with Federal Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV of the Southern District of New York, the Children’s Law Center in New York, Oklahoma Lawyers for Children, and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Prior to law school, he worked as a music and social studies teacher at Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy II Upper Elementary, as a mock trial coach and k-12 music teacher at St. Andrew’s Cathedral School, Sydney, and as a music coordinator at Henley Long Daycare Center. Rohan was also a Founding Director of First Chair Music Outreach, which provides education, musical and logistical support for performing artists operating in underfunded inner-city schools.

Rohan graduated from the Columbia Teachers College with a Masters degree in Music and Music Education. He also holds Bachelor’s degrees in Music from the University of Southern Queensland, and International Business, and Government and International Relations from the University of Sydney.

Savannah Reid

Savannah Reid

Savannah Reid

Savannah joined NCYL in the fall of 2012 as an Undergraduate Communications Intern and will be resuming that position this summer after a semester abroad. Savannah is in her fourth year at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Social Policy and Human Development. Currently, she is working on revamping NCYL’s social media sites, assisting NYCL attorneys in the Henry A. lawsuit against Clark County’s foster youth system, and recruiting volunteers for FosterEd Initiative. Savannah has previously worked as an Outreach Coordinator for the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, a middle school teacher with the Breakthrough Collaborative, and an intern for a number of state and national political campaigns. After graduation, she plans on attending law school in hopes of continuing her work in law and policy, specifically aimed at youth. In her free time, Savannah enjoys reading, traveling, playing tennis, and spending time with family and friends.

Tunisia Owens

Tunisia Owens

Tunisia Owens

Tunisia M. Owens is a second year student at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, CA. Tunisia will be assisting Kate Walker to combat the growing problem of sex trafficking of California’s youth. Tunisia has gained experience in this field from her work with M.I.S.S.S.E.Y as a volunteer on the Public Policy Committee and her work at Youth UpRising as a Social Enterprise Fellow.

Tunisia worked as a teacher for youth in custody within Alameda County and with CALPACT as an Education Specialist in the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Tunisia spent four years working internationally, first, as a Vice Consul to the U.S. Consulate General in Cape Town, South Africa where she conducted interviews for asylum and immigration petitions and gave assistance to American citizens in distress in foreign countries. Then, as a Cultural Attaché to the US Embassy in Kuwait where she managed grants for the Middle East Partnership Initiative and supervised exchange programs and cultural presentations.

Tunisia graduated with a Masters in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning from Princeton University. Tunisia graduated magna cum laude from Spelman college with a major in Political Science and minor in Economics.

NCYL’s Summer Seminar Series

Summer seminar series: Tirien Steinbach

Tirien Steinbach

NCYL’s kick-off seminar was held on June 6 and was honored to present Tirien Steinbach, Executive Director of the East Bay Community Law Center, as the keynote speaker.

Tirien Steinbach is a passionate leader in the campaign for justice. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Tirien has devoted her legal career to serving her community through a range of advocacy methods. Her past work includes representing prisoners on death row through the California Appellate Project, founding the Suitcase Clinic Legal Services project to defend the civil rights of homeless people, and incubating the East Bay Community Law Center’s Clean Slate practice, which to date has helped remove employment, housing, and education barriers for over 5,000 clients in Alameda County. Tirien is a Lecturer at Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall) and serves as Executive Director of the East Bay Community Law Center, one of the first and largest community-based legal clinics in the country. Tirien has received numerous fellowships and awards, including the inaugural Hon. Thelton E. Henderson Social Justice Prize.


Thursday, July 18 (12-1pm)
Understanding the Challenges Facing Youth in California’s Juvenile Justice System
Frankie Guzman, Soros Justice Fellow, National Center for Youth Law

A discussion of the history and future of California’s Juvenile Justice system from the perspective of an attorney whose experience serving “juvie life” in the California Youth Authority informs his current advocacy for improved treatment and alternative sentencing for youth charged with serious offenses.

Thursday, July 25 (12-1pm)
The Promises and Pitfalls of Public Interest Class Action Litigation
Bill Grimm, Senior Attorney, National Center for Youth Law

Leecia Welch, Senior Attorney, National Center for Youth Law

A discussion of class action litigation as an approach to reforming state and county foster care systems, using specific examples from NCYL’s work in various states. Hear from two seasoned litigators about the opportunities that litigation offers for systemic change and the procedural hurdles that make obtaining class-wide remedies challenging.

Thursday, July 29 (12-1pm)
Clerkships: Insights for Aspiring Public Interest Attorneys
Angela Chan, Senior Staff Attorney, Asian Law Caucus, and former Law Clerk for the Hon. Napoleon A. Jones of the Southern District of California

Allison Elgart, Legal Director, Equal Justice Society, and former Law Clerk for the Hon. Robert P. Patterson, Jr., of the Southern District of New York
Jesse Newmark, Interim Executive Director and Staff Attorney, Centro Legal de la Raza, and former Law Clerk for the Hon. Richard A. Paez of the Ninth Circuit and the Hon. Dean D. Pregerson of the Central District of California

Come hear inside tips on how to obtain a clerkship and learn how the clerking experience can be useful for a career in public interest law.

Thursday, August 1 (12-1pm)
Combatting Implicit Bias in the School-To-Prison Pipeline
Michael Harris, Senior Attorney, National Center for Youth Law

Is that student “disrupting class” or “taking initiative”?  Engaging in “disorderly conduct” or “showing advocacy skills”?  School staff’s perceptions of student behavior can result in disparate outcomes for youth, including disparate rates of exclusionary discipline and school-based arrest.  Learn how implicit racial bias shapes these perceptions, fueling the School-To-Prison Pipeline, and about current advocacy efforts to derail that pipeline and keep kids out of juvenile court.

Thursday August 8 (12-1pm)
What’s the Prefrontal Cortex Got to Do With It?  Understanding the Teen Brain to Improve Advocacy

Rebecca Gudeman, Senior Attorney, National Center for Youth Law
Hannah Benton, Staff Attorney, National Center for Youth Law

As advocates, how can we argue both that our teen clients should have autonomy in reproductive health decisions and that they are less culpable than adults for their mistakes, particularly mistakes that result in arrest?  Learn about current neuroscience research around adolescent brain development, its implications for teenage decision-making skills and how to use this research to better advocate for teen clients.

All sessions (with the exception of the kick-off event) will be held at NCYL on the 16th Floor. NCYL is located at 405 14th Street, Oakland, 94612 (corner of 14th and Franklin) — just one block from the 12th Street Oakland City Center BART Station. Please feel free to bring your lunch. NCYL will provide treats. Email Miranda Perry, mperry(at), with any questions.

NCYL Roots for the A’s!

Staff and summer clerks watched the Oakland Athletics beat the Yankees!

Balloon Toss!

NCYL at the A's game NCYL Summer Clerks; Clare Kruger, Chelsea Bell, Jane Schroder, Anisha Asher, and Kelly Orians

NCYL’s Annual Picnic

Photos: NCYL’s Annual Picnic