You have the right for legal representation paid by the court. You can also be represented by legal counsel for the rights of your sister although I do not understand since at the age of 17 in many states you do not have to go to high school anymore or need a guardian (some states not all. Legal age is 18) Unless you are running about too and have other actions against you (example: drugs, prostitution, drunk driving, etc...) I am not a lawyer. Far from it, but you can ask for legal representation (an attorney) to fight for you and your sister. Don't depend on this web site. We are all a bunch of yo-yo's and most do not even do the research.
Law students are a LOT niave when they get into the vocational field of Law. This is mostly the fault of television - the public tends to forget that the majority of what appears on television is FICTION.
The field of Law has a mystique that actually exceeds reality. The field of Law is a vastly overrated career - especially by television.<< There are many myths regarding the field of Law:
**myth: working as a Lawyer is mentally challenging (Actually, most work as an attorney involves mountains of routine paperwork: research, cite checking, drafting documents, and document review. Attorneys need to write down and track EVERY activity they do, all day long [in 6 to 15 minutes increments, depending on the billing system] - a painstaking but necessary task - handling details is a large part of working as a lawyer),
**myth: being an attorney is thrilling, high-powered, and glamorous (remember: television is FICTION - the fictional lawyers on TV are ACTORS - the majority of work that an attorney does, does not happen in a courtroom),
**myth: law students think that because they are good at arguing they will become great attorneys (Actually being a great attorney is more in one's ability to mediate between differing sides and bringing them to agreement/compromise. Many people mistakenly think that being an attorney is about the ability to argue. Actually, a successful attorney is defined by his/her commitment to the PEACEFUL resolution of disputes. Lawyers are actually: mediators, advocates, negotiators, advisors, evaluators, and peaceful intermediaries between clients.),
**myth: as a lawyer I can correct injustices (actually legal decisions are more about reaching compromises than about right vs. wrong),
**myth: guaranteed financial success (actually when salaries are compared, you also need to account for cost-of living expenses [most large law firms are in large cities - the bigger the city, the more cost-of-living expenses will be], payment of debts accrued while attending law school, and time needed to build a client base. Many large law firms require lawyers to work 60-80 hours per week. There are a FEW attorneys that earn a lot of money - but MOST attorneys just about make a living. Most attorneys do not make as much money as most people think. Also, remember: there are more attorneys than there are available jobs.).
And then, to top it off, attorneys have to keep their client's information confidential. (You cannot use "juicy" tidbits that you have become aware of as fodder for the gossip circles.)
Law is a more demanding profession than most people realize. It is not like what you see on TV.
Even if you finish law school, you won't be able to find a job when you are done. Since this vocational field is shrinking (at an alarming rate), many new attorneys/lawyers are, themselves, having to work "down" as Paralegals, Legal Assistants, Legal Secretaries, Bailiffs, Court Reporters, etc, etc, to simply try to keep some of their bills paid <<this would be your competition. And the competition is fierce in TODAY's job market!!
Now... the law schools know this, but they won't tell you the truth >that the job market/economy is just SATURATED with way too many Legal Professionals. Instead the schools will feed you a fairytale and will LIE to you. The root of the problem is we already have too many law schools. We are STILL in a Recession, and the schools are fighting for their own survival - they will tell students anything to get to the students' money. (Which is why they won't tell you the truth about the job market for the field of Law.) And these schools continue to recruit and churn out even more graduates.............Remember>>> law schools are BUSINESSES - their TOP concern is making money for themselves.
>>>>>THE #1 MOST IMPORTANT THING (and I can't stress this enough>>>): You ESPECIALLY have to beware of the BOGUS, INFLATED law school salary/job stats given out by >law schools< (AND by the U.S. Bureau of Labor)!!***<<<<<
If you don't believe me, then:
**Check out these websites:
(A link to a website does not constitute endorsement.)
**do a SEARCH here on Yahoo Answers to see what other posters are saying about the current status of the field of Law. Call some local law firms - ask to speak to the Manager of Human Resources - ask them if they are hiring; ask them what they think about future job availability in the field of Law..................
**Do "informational interviews" with several attorneys from at least two or three different firms. (You can find how to do "informational interviews" from your local Public Library - ask the Librarian.) Interviewing attorneys is a time-efficient and extremely beneficial way of discovering if law is the right vocational field for you. Talk to a few Human Resource Managers who work at employers in the field of Law. Ask them what their opinion is on future job availability for the field of Law. Ask them if they have any current open positions. Ask them how many resumes they receive when they advertise ONE open position. (It is ususally approximately 300 resumes are received for each open position advertised.) If you personally know a practicing lawyer, set up a time with them to do an "informational interview" to ask them about their career. Talk to many attorneys. Better yet, spend an entire day with one of them.
**Talk to recent law graduates. Ask them what success they are having finding employment opportunities. <<<<<
In the book "So You Want to be a Lawyer?" by Marianne Calabrese and Susanne Calabrese (ISBN 0-88391-136-1): "The United States has more lawyers than any other country in the world. About 38,000 students graduate >each year< from the 200+ law schools in the United States. The competition is very keen for jobs and clients." - Even Associate Justice Antonin Scalia (who served on the U.S. Supreme Court for more than 20 years) says there are too many lawyers. (9/14/2008)
If you want a JOB when you are done with your studies, consider and look into the fields of: >>>Healthcare, Information Technology, Law ENFORCEMENT, environmentalism, emergency planning, accounting, education, entertainment, utilities, home-car-commercial-industrial repairs, vice industries, clergy, and/or debt collection. I spoke to a career counselor from Jobs and Family Services, and HE told me that these areas are where the jobs are, and future job opportunities/availability....and scholarships.
There are MANY issues of working in the vocational field of Law. My answer is an attempt to give you a realistic way of looking at this career, and I have told you things that most will not tell you about the profession - at first. Be careful, do your research, and have your eyes open wide.
(This is based on my current knowledge, information, belief, and life experiences. This was intended as personal opinion, and not intended to be used as legal advice. Please be careful and do your research.<<< You DID ask the question here on Y/A. I am just trying to help you.)