How do youth experience and understand the law? How is law regarded and communicated? Youth's legal subjectivity has received limited attention in the sociological and legal literatures, especially as it relates to crime‐reporting behaviors. Drawing on legal socialization theory and procedural justice, I show how youth, as legal subjects, described the law and how those descriptions differed by social location. Using a diverse sample, I examined narratives produced during forensic interviews following reports of sexual victimization. Rather than passive victims, youth act on, and within, institutions. In their own words, youth describe experiences with state systems that animated their understandings of law and criminal justice processes. They reveal how shared frameworks of understanding affected legal subjectivity, shaped their evaluations of the law, and influenced participation in state systems so that perhaps those most in need of legal remedy are those most unlikely to seek it.