KidsVoice's mission to support current and former foster youth as they face life's challenges is aided by a group of talented pro bono partners representing some of the area's largest and most prestigious law firms and legal departments. These volunteers focus on a range of important roadblocks that can be addressed within the legal system, including magistrate representation and expungements, trust and estate administration, credit repair, guardianships, employment law, name changes, and more. Meet our partners, listed in alphabetical order, below.
FedEx Ground Law Department
FedEx Ground's law department provides trust administration and support for KidsVoice clients. Trusts may be established after a minor has received monetary compensation, such as for an accident, insurance claim, or civil case. Traditionally, administration fees and costs are taken from the trust balance, but these volunteers offer their services free of charge, allowing the entire fund to go toward the client's needs, as outlined in the settlement or court order.
A team of attorneys from K&L Gates represents KidsVoice clients who are facing challenges in the justice system. In addition to representing youth in magistrate hearings, K&L Gates provides support in our Expungement Project, which seeks to expunge juvenile records so that our youth can enter adulthood with a clean slate.
Our pro bono partners at McGuire Woods provide trust administration on behalf of our clients who have received settlements in civil cases, such as when a client's educational rights have been violated.
Katelyn Morris is an independent attorney who works in real estate management and real estate law. Morris represents KidsVoice clients before the magistrate.
Porter Wright represents KidsVoice youth in front of the magistrate for minor charges, such as traffic citations or loitering, which could have a lasting effect on the child's record.
Why is magistrate representation so important? When appearing before a judge for a minor infraction, foster youth are often at an immediate disadvantage for the simple fact that they may not have a reliable parent or adult in their lives to help them navigate the justice system, which too often leads to a criminal record rather than the community service or dismissed charges other youth receive.
PNC Legal Department
In addition to magistrate representation, our pro bono partners at the PNC Legal Department provide trust administration on behalf of our clients. Many of the trusts set up on behalf of KidsVoice clients are compensatory education trusts, for students who are required by law to receive special education services but whose needs are not being met by their school district. How the funds can be used is determined in the settlement or court order. Potential uses include paying for tutoring services, physical therapy, supportive summer camps, or educational equipment like computers.
Reed Smith assists KidsVoice clients with name changes. Clients may need to legally change their names for a variety of reasons and the process of going through the courts can be complicated and overwhelming for those without an established support system.
"Our partners do so much more than just represent our clients. Going before the court for any reason is daunting, especially when you are trying to do it by yourself, without a familial support system in place. Our partners show these young people that there IS someone on their side—and a skilled attorney to help."
Scott Hollander, KidsVoice Executive Director
Interested in becoming a pro bono partner with KidsVoice? Learn more here.
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