Elizabeth Vogel

  • Hosted by Neighborhood Legal Services Program
  • Sponsored by The Morrison & Foerster Foundation
  • Service location Washington, District of Columbia
  • Law school Georgetown University Law Center
  • Issue area Family Law
  • Fellowship class year 2017
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Elizabeth promoted family stability for teenage parents in Washington, DC and decrease the involvement of children of teenage parents in the foster care system through direct legal services, coalition building, and impact advocacy.

Approximately 66 percent of families with children born to teens live in poverty. Only one out of two teen mothers completes high school, and 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. Out of the 50 states and Washington, DC, Washington, DC has the ninth highest rate of teen pregnancy, and approximately three-quarters of children in foster care in Washington, DC were born to teen parents. Most of these young parents do not have legal representation in custody, child support, and domestic violence legal proceedings.

Fellowships Highlights

In the past two years, Elizabeth has:

  • Represented more than 40 young parents with various legal issues, ranging from brief legal advice to full representation at trial, and helped them secure custody of or visitation with their children, access to child support, and protection from domestic violence
  • Developed 7 sets of training materials and trained approximately 75 attorneys, service providers, and parents about family law issues affecting young parents
  • Collaborated with eight community groups
  • Created a partnership with the school-based health clinics at Anacostia High School and Roosevelt High School and with two other legal services organization to provide on-site legal services to young parents
  • Presented to Morrison & Foerster DC about her project work and outcomes

What’s Next

Now that the Fellowship is complete, Elizabeth will remain a fierce advocate for low-income families in Washington, DC. Specifically, she will build upon the skills she gained as a Fellow as a family law staff attorney at Bread for the City.

It was a great opportunity to be able to create a project to meet an unmet need based on my specific vision of equal access to justice. Equal Justice Works has been such an amazing wealth of resources, funding, and support.

Elizabeth Vogel /
Equal Justice Works Fellow

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