Lauren Zack

  • Hosted by Public Counsel
  • Sponsored by Latham & Watkins LLP, Spotify
  • Service location Los Angeles, California
  • Law school Stanford Law School
  • Issue area Children/Youth
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Lauren will interrupt the cycle of poverty and improve the life outcomes of LA’s transition-age foster youth by preventing and challenging vehicle impoundments that perpetuate hardships and punish indigence.

LA County serves over 25,000 foster youth in the nation’s largest foster care system. These youth face a dramatic reduction in support and resources when they turn 18. Without an adult to guide them through the processes of obtaining car registration, insurance, and a license, they are at greater risk of amassing Vehicle Code violations that can lead to car impoundment. When an affected youth cannot pay fees associated with impoundment, the car is sold and the youth still owes outstanding loans on the car they no longer possess, while struggling with the consequences of having no car in the vast, dispersed region of LA.

In law school, Lauren worked with homeless and low-income adult clients who were underserved throughout their lives at times when additional support would have mattered. She hopes that by serving young clients, she can interrupt patterns that inhibit independence before they begin.

Fellowship Plans

Lauren’s project will prevent impoundments before they occur and challenge those that do occur. She will host legal clinics to counsel transition-age foster youth through Vehicle Code violations and offer direct representation to youth with traffic citations or parking tickets that make them vulnerable to impoundment. Lauren will also represent youth at impoundment hearings and update a state-wide advocacy manual to guide others through the process of challenging impoundments.

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Host: Children's Law Center of Minnesota

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Rachel Kleinberg

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Sponsor: Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Ashley Ortagus

Host: Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc.

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP, The Florida Bar Foundation

Mary Bissell

Mary Bissell

Host: Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia