Holistic Youth Defense Clinic
Students will represent indigent juvenile clients in misdemeanor and felony delinquency cases, special education matters and school discipline hearings under close faculty supervision. Typical delinquency charges include assault and battery, petit and grand larceny, as well as various types of offenses referred to court from schools. Enrolled clinic students will hone their practical skills while integrating their knowledge of substantive law. Students will engage in discovery practice, interview clients and witnesses, brainstorm case strategy, conduct legal research and fact investigation, draft pleadings and work product, prepare clients and witnesses for trial, negotiate with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, discuss plea offers with clients, and counsel clients. Students with third-year practice certificates will represent clients at hearings and trials. In addition, clinic students will critically examine the purpose, motives, outcomes, and shortcomings of the juvenile justice system. They will analyze broader systemic issues, examine how justice systems impact the clients they serve and reflect upon opportunities for reform. Students will learn to provide holistic client-centered and client-driven representation.