MoForever Alumni News - Winter 2019

25 | MoForever Winter 2019 No Scarcity of Worthwhile Causes Currently, NCYL is challenging Washington, D.C. in a federal class action that claims Medicaid-eligible children with mental health disabilities are needlessly institutionalized and at great risk for future harm, because D.C. fails to provide the required intensive, community-based mental health services. The goal is to get D.C. to set up infrastructure to provide timely, quality services in homes rather than hospitals. If the suit is successful, more children will stay with their families while receiving mental health treatment, and they will experience much-needed continuity in their education and home lives. “We think it will improve the lives of thousands of kids in D.C. right now and in doing so, also impact future generations,” Seth says. “If you can fix things that are wrong in children’s lives early, the whole course of their lives can change.” It was this type of opportunity to reach vulnerable youths early and make real, lasting differences that led Seth to recognize NCYL as the ideal place he could put his experience to the best use. We Can All Do More Seth believes we can all do more to ensure at-risk children get the opportunity to grow their talents and become productive, engaged members of society. “There’s a lot of concentrated wealth in Big Law. And with that kind of money comes the responsibility to make sure that you’re serving people other than those who can pay for your services.” Pro bono work is a moral obligation, according to Seth. He says rewarding pro bono work should be baked right into a law firm’s culture and staff career development, from summer interns all the way through senior partners. “One of the reasons I went to MoFo was the reputation it had through folks like Jack Londen and Arturo González for their strong commitment of resources to important pro bono issues,” says Seth. He recommends that attorneys who are too busy to work on pro bono projects directly support others who do. “Nonprofits are very reliant on contributors. The Morrison & Foerster Foundation has been very generous to NCYL, and we hope MoFo’s individual attorneys will continue to give as well.” One of Seth’s goals is to replicate the Center’s successes in other states. He wants other attorneys and advocacy agencies across the nation to partner with NCYL to make more and better-coordinated efforts in litigation and policy work. “So, really, we need more butts in seats. And we need more money to pay those people.” LEARN MORE ABOUT THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR YOUTH LAW