Author Archive | Gretchen Peterson-Fisher


Public Counsel, the public interest law office of the Los Angeles County and Beverly Hills Bar Associations, is the largest pro bono law firm in the U.S., and also is the Southern California affiliate of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.  Public Counsel coordinates the contributions of thousands of volunteer lawyers each year.  Public Counsel serves those in need—such as children and the elderly, literacy projects and low-income housing providers, refugees and the homeless—by providing legal representation and matching financially eligible clients with volunteer attorneys.

My Life, My Rights is a website publication of Public Counsel.  It is an adaptation of The ABC’s of Transition and The Independent Living Program Informational Manual for Transitioning Foster Youth and Their Caregivers© Fourth Edition 2013, also a publication of Public Counsel. This publication was first developed by Public Counsel Staff Attorney Karla Penuelas with support and assistance from Directing Attorney Laura Faer, and Foster Youth Transition Advocate Georgina Peralta.  Administrative Assistant Lily Bu, Volunteer Attorney Michelle Lee, Volunteer Social Worker Annashe Ghazarian, Summer Law Clerk Liza Davis, and Staff Attorneys Susan McClure and Katie Brown updated and edited the second edition.  Volunteer College Student Abigail Roth and Staff Attorney Gretchen Peterson-Fisher updated and edited the third edition with support and assistance from Directing Attorney Martha Matthews and Staff Attorney Susan McClure.  Summer Law Clerk Hannah Donnelly London and Staff Attorney Gretchen Peterson-Fisher updated and edited the fourth edition with support and assistance from Supervising Attorney Susan McClure and Michael Soller.  These publications are copyrighted.  All rights reserved.  No part can be copied or reproduced without permission of Public Counsel.  Public Counsel is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

While this website is designed to provide accurate and current information about the law, readers should contact an attorney or other expert for advice in particular cases, and should also consult the relevant statutes and court decisions when relying on cited material, as the laws might change.

Additional Public Counsel publications are available online at

We thank the Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation, the Eisner Foundation, the Stuart Foundation, and the Hilton Foundation for their generous support of our Transition Age Foster Youth Program, including the development, publication, and distribution of this website.