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Elizabeth Vogel

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Elizabeth Vogel

Elizabeth Vogel

Name of Host Organization: Neighborhood Legal Services Program
City, State: Washington, District of Columbia
Issue area: Family Law
Sponsors: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

The Project

Elizabeth will promote family stability for teenage parents in Washington, DC and decrease their children’s involvement in the foster care system through direct legal services, coalition building, and impact advocacy.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Washington, DC has the ninth highest rate of teen pregnancy in the U.S. as compared to the 50 states. Approximately 66 percent of families with children born to teens live in poverty. Only one out of two teen mothers completes high school. Fewer than two percent have graduated from college by the age of 30. Furthermore, children born to teenage parents are much more likely to enter foster care. Approximately three-quarters of children in foster care in Washington, DC were born to teen parents.
The Right Person For This Project
Elizabeth is the right person for the project because:
• She is deeply committed to advocating for low-income families to promote family stability and minimize children’s involvement in the foster care system
• She has developed tools and strategies to be an effective litigator through relevant legal internships and her law school clinic and also during her current employment at Neighborhood Legal Services Program
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship
In the first six months, Elizabeth will:
• Retain clients through intake, community outreach, and organizational referrals
• Begin direct legal representation of clients
• Invite pro bono partners to participate in direct representation
• Gather information on existing resources and expand trainings for pro bono attorneys interested in representing teen parents in family law matters
• Identify coalition members and plan the first meeting