Youth Law Project helps student escape pain

Pheng in glasses, dark suit jacket and light oxford shirt smiles for the camera against brick background of Legal Aid offices.

Lead attorney of Youth Law Project, Pheng Thao represents Legal Aid’s youngest clients, birth-18, and 18-24 for those pursuing high school, in transitional living, homeless or parentless. The latter describes a recent client.

Still in high school, she had left an abusive family situation. She had no parents or guardians but her school safety net of social workers connected her with Legal Aid. Pheng says, “When we met her, we found she had been suffering with a severe toothache.” Though she tried to get help, “No dentist would see her without parental consent.”

What YLP was able to do, was explain the law to the clinic. Finally, she got the care she needed. “As we strive to ensure the law is followed,” Pheng says, “our mission is to make sure access to legal remedies belongs to all – young, old, people with disabilities and those with the fewest resources.”

YLP helps youth with:

  • Finding protection from abuse and neglect
  • Runaway and truancy
  • Delegation of Parental Authority (DOPA)
  • Rights of teen parents
  • Access to public benefits
  • Getting government ID documents
  • Getting immigration documents
  • Education rights
  • Other general legal questions