Youth Represent was founded in 2006 by Laurie Parise. While representing youth facing job discrimination, Laurie saw that her clients’ legal problems went far beyond employment. She created Youth Represent from a recognition that young people need comprehensive representation to address their diverse and unique legal issues. What began as a single attorney working from a borrowed desk is now a citywide organization that provides free legal services to more than one thousand youth annually.
Our mission is to ensure that young people affected by the criminal justice system are afforded every opportunity to reclaim lives of dignity, self-fulfillment, and engagement in their communities.
Young people’s voices and lives matter. Therefore, we take the time needed to listen deeply, think boldly, and act thoughtfully. Our client-centered representation helps ensure youth preserve their dignity as we take the journey with them from courtroom to community.
We always take on the fight for our clients. We are committed to challenging racial and social injustice in the legal system and driving policy change through our deep knowledge of practice. Our fearlessness is strengthened by our humility. There is no defined end to what we are prepared to do for our clients as they navigate the systemic barriers arising from justice involvement.
We are agile, flexible, and deeply committed to providing first-rate legal representation to young people. We maintain our strength through mentoring, supporting, and challenging one another. We are always learning as individuals and as an organization.
We believe in people and our capacity to grow and learn as individuals and as a team. We actively cultivate a supportive, healthy community where people are treated authentically and with compassion. This culture is seen and felt by our young clients and empowers us to be a strong and dynamic force for change.