Juvenile Justice Clinic
Professor: Philip A. Ross
Offered: Fall and spring semesters.
Class: Tuesdays, 8 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.
Court Room: Monday and Friday mornings.
The Juvenile Justice Clinic represents indigent juvenile defendants in all facets of juvenile proceedings in the Essex County Family Court.
The time commitment is approximately 15 hours per week, which includes court time, class time, and preparation for court and class exercises.
CLINICAL LAW PRACTICE
Twice per week, clinic students handle juvenile detention hearings, which are equivalent to adult bail matters. For instance, if a child is arrested by the police for an alleged offense, a hearing is held the next morning before a judge who decides whether to release the client pending a trial, to release him with conditions, or to remand him to the Youth House or Shelter pending further proceedings. Students also handle at least one "pool case" per semester. In these cases, a student represents the juvenile throughout the court process, participating in the following potential stages of litigation: plea bargain, informal diversion, disposition, motions to suppress, and probable cause hearings and trial. The student, through his or her work in the clinic, receives hands-on criminal practice experience.
To learn more about the clinic work, please read the victory story on "Reflecting on the Juvenile Justice Clinic", by two student advocates.
The 2-hour, 20-minute mandatory class is geared toward the student interested in litigation. From the first week to the last, each student performs the following simulated roles: detention hearings, probable cause hearings, simulated direct and cross examination, and simulated summation. Additionally, each student will be involved in a simulated criminal jury trial as well as performing a motion to suppress, which includes testimony and argument. Also, throughout each semester, lectures are conducted on evidence, trial tactics, motions to suppress, and ethics.