Youth Law Project offers wide range of civil legal services

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s (MMLA) Youth Law Project (YLP) provides comprehensive civil legal services to youth up to the age of 24 who are abused, neglected, experiencing or are at risk of homelessness or sexual exploitation, or have questions about safety, minor consent, access education, public benefits, obtaining government identification, or any other civil legal issues. We do not handle criminal cases.

Since 2014, the YLP has been providing comprehensive civil legal services to sexually exploited youth in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Safe Harbor/No Wrong Door network with a focus on outreach to Native and LGBTQ+ youth.

In addition to advice and representation, the YLP also provides training on youth rights and responsibilities for staff and youth alike, ranging from informal question and answer to “Know Your Rights” presentations. The YLP does take calls and/or emails from youth or agency staff anywhere in the state of Minnesota who would like help from an attorney.

Helping an abused teen obtain emancipation

A 17-year-old client reached to the YLP out about emancipation. Her mom was in a cycle of kicking her out of the house and reporting her as a runaway after many instances of physical abuse and out-of-home placements. At first the client did not have a sustainable housing option and had offers to stay with someone if she would share a bed. YLP staff helped her maintain healthy boundaries, stay connected with her social worker, and focus on school until she found stability living with her older sister. The client maintained a steady income working after school and wanted the safety and security emancipation could provide. After many conversations with the client’s mother, who struggled with her own mental health issues, Legal Aid staff were able to secure the mom’s agreement and signature on the emancipation statement. Both the client and her mother maintain hope that the new situation may provide space for future healing between them.


Find information about youth law topics, including emancipation,
immigration, education, abuse and harassment, and more.