Paul Hastings Opens Doors for Teens

At 16, Diana was a hardworking student who looked forward to getting a driver’s license and part-time job. Unlike her peers, Diana couldn’t do these things because she didn’t have a birth certificate. Life without a birth certificate is a major obstacle for anyone. For foster youth, it closes every door ahead of them.

Paul Hastings was ready to tackle the unique challenges these youth face. Their team jumped in to help Diana and filed a petition with the court. They interviewed family members and friends to establish the time, place and circumstances of her birth. Next they tracked down an emergency room doctor in Tennessee, who was in the room when she was born. With all the evidence Paul Hastings presented, the judge did not hesitate to grant Diana a birth certificate. She was so relieved and excited to have the freedom to take next steps toward her adult life.

“These are extraordinarily bright kids. They are each very driven and they make their communities better with their spirit,” said Sarah Kelly-Kilgore of Paul Hastings. “You see these young people walk away from the courthouse feeling lighter and excited. They have such difficult backgrounds and to see them have this joy is why we get involved.”

Two years later, Diana is in community college and has a part-time job and driver’s license!

Paul Hastings first took on work with our NextStep Program for Transition-Age Youth in 2010.

“Paul Hastings is committed to helping teens transition from foster care to independence. In our first case, we were so impressed with our client’s maturity, goals and aspirations.  Our work for this client created an extraordinary experience for all of the lawyers involved, especially because of the great impact we were able to have on her life.  When the Alliance asked us to help more youth-in-transition, we jumped at the chance.  In the years since, our relationship has grown to encompass a variety of different matters in our Los Angeles and San Diego offices.  Each client has an amazing story.  We are honored to play a part in their future success through the legal assistance we can provide.” -Jennifer Baldocchi, Partner, Paul Hastings

Thank you to Jamie Broder, Jennifer Baldocchi, Sarah Kelly-Kilgore, Daniel Prince, Courtney Turco, Nick Begakis, Stephen Turanchik, Daniel Tola and everyone at Paul Hastings for opening doors for vulnerable teenagers. You’ve equipped our clients with the means to accomplish their goals.