Host: Public Counsel
Sponsor: Latham & Watkins LLP, Spotify
Veena provided trauma-informed, post-disposition representation to youth involved with the District’s juvenile legal and foster care systems, advocating for youth to remain in the community rather than detention facilities.
Youth in the deepest end of the District’s juvenile legal system suffer significant discrimination and frequently experience a loss of liberty, often without the assistance of counsel. A youth “committed” to the custody of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) is subject to the agency’s placement and service decisions, with little to no court oversight. Crossover youth—or youth involved in both the juvenile legal and foster care systems—are significantly more likely to be placed in detention facilities than are other youth, and are particularly vulnerable to mistreatment and bias.
During her two-year Fellowship, Veena:
After her fellowship concludes, Veena will be joining the Children’s Law Center as an Education Attorney in the Healthy Together and Guardian ad Litem projects. Healthy Together is a medical-legal partnership between community health centers in the District and attorneys at the Children’s Law Center. The Guardian ad Litem program provides legal representation to children involved with the foster care system.
Once I met these kids, I knew I had found the right career. Even in the toughest of circumstances, their smiles, jokes, and aspirations make it incredibly easy to love them and commit to this work.
Veena Subramanian /
Equal Justice Works Fellow