The Juvenile Justice Clinic
The Juvenile Justice Clinic at Loyola Law School is one of a small handful of live client clinics nationwide where students have the opportunity to regularly represent children in delinquency court.
Students directly represent children charged with offenses in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Each student will be responsible for all aspects of their cases-- including interviewing, discovery, investigations, written motion work, trial and post sentencing matters.
Clinical students are required to enroll in a year-long juvenile delinquency and litigation skills course. For more information, see Course Information, below.
A multidisciplinary approach to representing children is the hallmark of our philosophy. Our social-work staff plays a key role in our representation of every one of our clients. See information on holistic representation.
All prospective students will be required to submit an application including a resumé and transcript. Applicants will then interview with Professor Buckingham, Director of the JJC. Interviews will be required.
Applicants should have an interest in criminal defense or juvenile delinquency, enjoy oral advocacy, and possess strong communication skills. Students must demonstrate flexibility and the maturity to assume responsibility for representing clients.
Prior academic performance will be considered, however, weight will be given to those students who can demonstrate an interest in the issues presented as well as to those who have prior experience in a related field.
Pre-requisites for the class are Civil Procedure and Evidence. Criminal Procedure is strongly recommended, but not required. Rising second year students may apply but must be concurrently enrolled in Evidence in Fall 2013. Students must be in good academic standing to apply, and are expected to comply with all responsibilities as enumerated in the “Loyola Law School Off Campus Externship Policies and Procedures,” which is also available at the CJLP.
Students must have access to a car and/or be able to independently travel for the purposes of investigating their cases, serving motions, appearing in court, and meeting with clients.
The Juvenile Justice Clinic course offers students a unique opportunity for an in-depth study of California juvenile delinquency law and procedure, as well as practical litigation experience. This course is a year-long, twelve-unit course, comprised of a three-unit advanced criminal litigation skills course, a three-unit juvenile delinquency law and procedure class and a clinical component. Students must enroll in all three components of the class.
The emphasis in the Fall is to develop the skills and knowledge base to effectively represent the clients in court. In the Spring, the focus is on the actual representation of our clients and larger policy issues presented by the juvenile delinquency system. Because the course is a year long, and the substantive classes are interwoven, students must complete the year in order to receive credit for the class. Students must complete 56 hours of work for every clinical unit awarded.
Students will be assigned cases periodically throughout the year. Our clients may be out of custody or in custody. Students are required to attend all proceedings, in court and out, as well as meet with their clients and their families regularly.
"The legal curriculum at Loyola Law School gave me the foundation to think, speak, and write like a lawyer. But it was my clinical experience at the Juvenile Justice Clinic this year that taught me how to be an advocate. Through my work in this clinic, I learned how to be fearless, zealous, and unwavering in my advocacy on behalf of systemically marginalized youth. By representing clients in court, at probation meetings, and in IEP meetings, I learned that being emotionally intelligent and culturally aware is often times more valuable than being the sharpest legal mind in the room. Participating in the Juvenile Justice Clinic has been a transformative experience for me. I made lifelong friendships with fellow social justice warriors that I will truly cherish. My experiences in the clinic forced me to step outside of my comfort zone which helped me grow tremendously both personally and professionally. I put on an entire trial from start to finish. That statement speaks for itself. Most importantly, having this experience in my third and final year of law school helped me ensure that I'll never lose sight of my reasons for pursing a law degree––to advance justice in this world. I will carry my experiences in this clinic with me for the rest of my life and I will be eternally grateful to Professor Buckingham for setting the bar so high and consistently believing in my ability to reach it."
---Krithika Santhanam, CJLP Alumna, 2017