Updated: Jan 12
In 2020, we faced multiple major crises which affected populations of all ages. Although youth under 18 cannot vote, decisions that are made by adults today still have significant impacts on young people. For that reason, it is more important now than ever before for youth to understand the legal system around them, and how they can get involved if they would like. In the age of social media, it has become easier for young people to advocate for those that are still being oppressed and help voice their opinions. Youth can utilize their knowledge of social media to their advantage and begin making short but concise explanations of current problems on different platforms like Instagram and TikTok to reach a wider range of the population. In fact, some young people have already created podcasts or YouTube channels for the purpose of educating others about issues involving justice and the legal system.
It is important to note that it is never too early to advocate for justice. A young person’s journey into the legal sector could start from around middle to high school by volunteering in law firms or clubs as a member or executive and taking courses related to law, or co-op placements for experience with real lawyers and firms. Teenagers can also expose themselves to the field by conversing with lawyers through personal interviews or by asking them questions about their practice during conferences, such as the annual conference hosted by YLL. Once they enter post-secondary education, young people can decide on what branch of the legal sector they would like to be involved with and pursue their education and land a job. As they enter the legal field, some may start their own firms or do pro-bono work to help those in need but are short on financial means. There are so many possible paths that could be taken!
Now it’s 2021 - however, nothing changes overnight and injustice is never forgotten. The problems that existed in 2020 are getting worse, whether it be environmental, societal or systemic. We have witnessed violence all around us, from the recent storming on Capitol Hill in the United States, to the aggression Black Lives Matter protesters faced as they protested for justice. We are still witnessing news about the injustices migrants face in their daily lives, the starving children in Yemen, the Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps and many more groups around the world.
However, these actions have not gone unaddressed. Many news channels and social media platforms have continued the talk around discrimination and injustice in the modern world. Teenagers, in particular, have been trying to advocate for their communities by sharing posts in hopes to educate others and spread the news. Many have gotten involved in petitions to call for peace and justice. Many are also donating money to foundations in order to help pay bail for wrongfully accused prisoners, activists, and those who have been treated unjustly.
We still have a long way to go before discrimination and chaos are eradicated. But every action makes a difference - if you are passionate about social justice and advocacy, do not wait until you are a certain age to start helping out. All generations can do their part in achieving justice and taking part in the legal sector as much as they can. The fight for justice is not complete.