Juvenile Justice Center
Juvenile Defenders Clinic: This is a full-year clinic offered for 8 credits (4 credits/semester) and students will receive a letter grade. Students in the Juvenile Defender Clinic will advocate on behalf of children in the juvenile justice system. The primary mode of advocacy will be providing direct representation to individual children charged with delinquency offenses in Juvenile Court. Clinic students will handle all aspects of delinquency cases from arraignment through trial, which may include bail hearings, pre-trial suppression hearings, probation violation hearings, and jury and bench trials Most cases will be done in the Boston Juvenile Court, but students may also spend time in other courts, such as Dorchester Juvenile Court.
Students may also represent clients in related proceedings, such CHINS cases, care and protection cases, and administrative proceedings with the Department of Youth Services or the Department of Children and Families. The clinic also employs an experienced staff attorney who will work with students on a number of juvenile justice policy projects, as well as on their cases in court.
Students will be the lead attorney on most of their cases, with close supervision from the faculty. Students may also have the opportunity to “second seat” the clinic’s staff attorney on more serious cases in which our clients have been indicted and face adult prison time.
Faculty comments: Students in this clinic will learn a wide range of lawyering skills, with a heavy focus on developing and maintaining a professional relationship with adolescent clients and their families. They will learn how to use a variety of advocacy tools on behalf of their individual clients and similarly situated children. Among the litigation skills students will learn include interviewing clients and witnesses, conducting full investigations, engaging in motion and discovery practice, and negotiating pleas.
In working on the cases, students will learn about the social work and mental health fields, and how to collaborate effectively with professionals from these disciplines. Students will work closely with the clinic’s Social Work Supervisor and with social work students from local social work schools. JDC students may also work with students from the Education Advocacy Clinic on suspension/expulsion or special education cases involving shared clients.
Students will submit reflective journal entries on a weekly basis.
JDC students will also be required to keep either Tuesday or Wednesday free until 4 p.m. for court appearances. Dependent upon case demands more time may be necessary; therefore, students are encouraged to keep both Tuesdays and Wednesdays free until 4 p.m., and as many other mornings as free as possible.
Although Evidence is the only prerequisite course, completion of Trial Practice, Children and the Law, and Criminal Procedure are recommended.
| Prerequisite: Evidence; Trial Practice, Children and the Law, and Criminal Procedure recommended.
<<Course Updated: October 21, 2010>>