Laurie Parise is the Executive Director and Founder of Youth Represent. In 2006, she was awarded an Echoing Green Fellowship to start the organization. Previously, as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, Laurie created and implemented a youth reentry project at the Legal Action Center’s National H.I.R.E. Network. Laurie’s youth reentry project expanded on the work of H.I.R.E. and addressed the unique employment issues that youth who have been involved in the juvenile or criminal justice system face when they reenter society. Laurie’s commitment to work with disenfranchised populations began in 1990 at the Rainforest Foundation, where she supported indigenous peoples in their efforts to protect their rights. After eleven years with the organization, the last five as its Executive Director, Laurie decided to go to law school to develop new skills in order to promote social justice in other segments of society. She is a graduate of Columbia University and Brooklyn Law School where she earned an Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Fellowship Award. In August 2005, she was awarded the first Lexis/Nexis Martindale Hubbell Legal Fellowship for her work in the field. In 2008, she received a Union Square Award in recognition of her grass roots activism to support at-risk youth in NYC.
Michael Pope serves as the Director of Legal Services. Leading Youth Represent’s community lawyering model, Michael supervises Youth Represent’s community-based legal representation to youth 24 and under who have been involved in the criminal justice system. Michael joined Youth Represent in 2010 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored by the law firm of Morrison and Foerster. Michael is a Board Member for the American Bar Association’s Commission on Youth at Risk and is Co-Chair of the Criminal Justice Section’s Young Lawyers Committee. In September 2012, he was awarded the New York County Lawyers’ Association Criminal Justice Public Service Fellowship for his article, “Protecting the Innocent.” Michael is a graduate from Brooklyn Law School where he was a Sparer Public Interest Fellow and served on the National Moot Court Honor Society. He was nominated to the Order of the Barristers and has received many awards, including most significantly, the Judge I. Leo Glasser Prize, Carswell Scholarship and Gerald Director Scholarship.