About Us

SYLAW's mission is to eradicate the civil legal barriers that homeless youth and youth at-risk of homelessness face which prevent them from becoming self-sufficient.

In the spring of 1995, law students at the University of Washington (UW) School of Law began work on a street youth advocacy project by volunteering at a local drop-in center to supply legal information and referrals. In 1997, the program successfully sought 501(c)(3) status and was incorporated as Street Youth Legal Advocates of Washington (SYLAW). That year, SYLAW began to provide community-based presentations on legal issues relevant to youth, a weekly class at an alternative school in a local drop-in center, and weekly information and referral centers at local service provider sites.

The educational programs were successful but students expressed a recurring frustration with providing referrals: few legal providers were equipped to take on the civil cases of street youth. In 1999, Columbia Legal Services (CLS) and SYLAW joined together and began to provide direct representation, in addition to the educational and outreach programs for at-risk and homeless youth. SYLAW is no longer directly partnered with CLS but SYLAW continues to fulfill its mission of educating and representing youth in a variety of different civil legal matters.

SYLAW is currently without paid staff and is a volunteer-run program. If you are a youth who needs legal information or referrals, visit our Drop-in Clinics page for the location and times of clinics in Seattle.

Governing Board

Casey Trupin, President
Corey Wood, Vice President and Treasurer
Kallie Ferguson , Secretary

Advisory Board

Justice Bobbe J. Bridge (ret.), Center for Children and Youth Justice
Michele Storms, William H. Gates Public Service Law Program
Jim Theofelis, Mockingbird Society
Casey Trupin, Columbia Legal Services
Linda Mason Wilgis, Socius Law Group


Street Youth Legal Advocates of Washington * PO Box 95956 * Seattle, WA 98145
Contact Us: info@sylaw.org