Law students guide youth on legal rights

Law students guide youth on legal rights
Law students guide youth on legal rights

It may seem that teenagers are generally free of the burdens and challenges of adulthood; but, in fact, many young people around the world must face life’s challenges without the guiding hand of parents, guardians, or other mentors.

To help address this problem, a group students from Melbourne Law School developed an app in that gives young people and their advocates immediate access to tailored guidance on important legal topics for youth, including young people’s rights to leave home, live on their own, and find work:

The app was developed by the Melbourne law students using the Neota Logic software development platform in partnership with YouthLaw, a community legal centre in Australia that advocates for children and young people. The app was part of the University of Melbourne’s Law Apps class taught by Senior Lecturer Gary Cazalet, who says,

The goal of the class is to teach students how technology can be used to provide fast and accurate answers to common legal problems.

Clearly, the need help youth face life’s challenges is great. One in 10 children and young adults are affected by mental health problems (with around 70% of them going untreated) in the UK, with referrals for depression and anxiety rapidly increasing. In the US, the same concern over mental health exists, with suicide the second leading cause of death for 10-24 year-olds (with over 90% of those who do die suffering from a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety or stress). In Australia, the figures are similar, with suicide being the leading cause of death for 15-24 year-olds and 1 in 7 young Australians experiencing, at some stage, a mental health condition.

The app helps youth deal with potential situations of conflict — and can help them deal with stressful situations, which would be further exacerbated by a lack of information. The app is also a great example of what happens when a university, a technology company, and a community legal centre get together.

Given that young people commonly spend up to 9 hours a day using digital technology, it’s important that solutions be offered to them via a digital tool.

We at Neota Logic are very pleased that the app is actively serving young people in need — and we hope that the app encourages other universities and law centres to work together with Neota Logic to improve access-to-justice for all.

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