OK, if you are a late-model teenager, don’t be offended by our use of the word “kid.” We use it with endearment, and simply mean anyone who has not yet turned 18 years of age. Eighteen is the “age of majority” in the United States, and the age at which people can legally act on their own. Before you reach the age of majority, a parent or legal guardian must act on your behalf.
Through a lot of experience, we know that the interests of kids are not always in line with the interests of their parent or guardian. Perhaps someone has done something wrong to you, and you either don’t want to tell your parents or your parents don’t want to do anything about it. Maybe you have done something illegal and need some legal advice. Maybe you are pregnant or have gotten someone pregnant. Perhaps you are nearing high school graduation and want some advice on college or career.
Unfortunately, some kids have even worse problems that these. Is someone physically or sexually abusing you or one of your siblings or friends? When I was elected a state prosecutor in 1996, I knew some people did bad things to kids, but I thought those incidents were rare. Nearly 20 years later, with substantial experience in criminal law and child abuse law, I know that there is another world that many people don’t know exists. It is shocking and disheartening to see the things some people do to kids – sexual, physical and/or mental abuse. This behavior is not normal, and no kid has to endure it.
We offer legal advice and are not social workers or psychologists. However, if you need one of these other professionals, we can probably get you going in the right direction.
But I’m a kid and can’t afford a lawyer!!
If we were worried about money, we wouldn’t devote this page on our website or any of our time to helping kids. We know almost all kids have no money, or at least no money they can access. If you have some kind of claim against someone, maybe we can get legal fees paid by someone else. If not, there is a latin phrase called pro bono publico, which means literally “for the public good.” That phase is often shortened to pro bono, which means professional work undertaken voluntarily for the public good at no charge.
We do a lot of pro bono work, and it is almost all for kids. Give us a call if you have a serious problem and need some advice. All discussions between us will be subject to the attorney-client privilege, which means that it is confidential (although if you are being abused we will likely be obligated to report the abuse to the proper authorities. Don’t worry though – we’ll get through it together).