Ariana Brill

  • Hosted by Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem
  • Sponsored by Anonymous
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • Issue area Children/Youth, Education/Special Education
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Ariana will improve outcomes for court-involved youth in Harlem, New York by expanding access to special education, disability, and mental health services through direct legal representation and policy advocacy.

Court-involved youth in Harlem have no right to civil legal counsel and, as a result, are often unable to access or enforce their right to special education, disability, and mental health services. This issue is particularly pressing given that an estimated 75% of youth in the juvenile justice system have disabilities and 65-70% of youth who have been arrested have mental health conditions. This project will fill a gap in services by providing youth with greater opportunities to advance in school and achieve their goals.

Ariana’s previous work with system-involved youth—who faced significant challenges when their disabilities or mental health needs were not adequately addressed—motivated her to undertake this project. Ariana is passionate about ensuring that all youth with unique and complex needs have a meaningful opportunity to achieve their goals.

Fellowship Plans

Ariana will work collaboratively with Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (NDS) defense attorneys, provide holistic representation that adapts to each young person’s needs, and represent them in multiple forums. Ariana will enforce young people’s rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), including advocating in school suspension hearings, due process hearings, and appeals in civil court. When youth are wrongfully denied mental health or disability services by government agencies, Ariana will file appeals and represent them in administrative hearings. In addition, Ariana will collect data and create policy recommendations aimed at reducing legal barriers that regularly prevent youth from getting their basic needs met.

Meet Other Fellows Like Ariana

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Annie Lee

Host: National Center for Youth Law

Sponsor: Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Oracle Corporation

Katherine Burdick

Host: Juvenile Law Center

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Alaina Moonves-Leb

Host: The Alliance for Children's Rights

Sponsor: Edison International, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Rachel Judd

Host: Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center

Sponsor: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation