YJA works to develop legal curriculum and introduce it at schools across Texas. Legal education empowers students, engages students, and teaches them to serve effectively while developing crucial soft skills.
Legal services are social services! YJA is committed to establishing legal clinics on high school campuses. Students benefit from experiential learning while serving their communities.
Many of the students working with YJA have never met an attorney or paralegal. We want them to learn from professionals that can help support their dreams of a legal career.
Beyond teaching students about their rights and responsibilities, legal education provides relevant content that inspires students frequently disengaged with high school curriculum. By participating in authentic discussions about social and political issues, students are empowered to transform their communities and themselves for the better. While learning to argue and write effectively and persuasively, students develop highly marketable soft skills.
YJA believes in community schools that partner educators with social services to provide wraparound care to students and families. Community schools are hubs and create spaces where every child and parent feels supported and cared for. As a part of that mission, high school legal aid clinics provide free legal services to campus communities. By providing assistance to families dealing with legal issues related to poverty or immigration status, we allow families to overcome crisis and refocus on education.
Many of our students never meet legal professionals before participating in YJA programs. Through partnerships with law firms, legal organizations, and local volunteers, high school students are introduced to attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants with experience in diverse areas of practice. This access allows us to help confront the challenges faced by first generation college/law students, and to provide a taste of life as a legal professional.
Our mission is to help our students find fulfilling careers. A quality legal education can set the students apart from countless other applicants for higher education and job opportunities. As effective writers, presenters, and critical thinkers, our students are well equipped for the professional world, in the legal sector or otherwise. YJA is partnering with local higher ed institutions to develop pipelines from secondary education to higher education and the legal profession.
Students should never be told that they cannot participate in an activity because they cannot afford the price tag. Unfortunately, the realities of secondary education budgets frequently require students to pay to partake in extracurricular programs or school events. Every program in which YJA students participate are free to every child. Our goal is to break down the financial barriers that prevent underrepresented populations from achieving advancement in the legal field. With the help of donors and volunteers, we will start by ensuring that every high school student can benefit from our programming.