Juvenile Justice Clinic
The Juvenile Justice Clinic provides students the opportunity to address the needs of troubled children in a number of diverse settings. Students represent juveniles in delinquency proceedings, sometimes as their defenders and other times as court-appointed Guardians ad litem. We frequently collaborate with local agencies to assist our clients in meeting educational, mental health and housing needs. With guidance and instruction from a faculty supervisor, student attorneys in the Juvenile Justice Clinic meet with clients and their families, attend school meetings, file motions, appear in court, and in every respect take the lead in developing programs for their clients designed to avoid both incarceration and recidivism. Students also work with other legal aid attorneys at our collaborative ‘Tuesdays at the Teen Center’ project, which involves weekly meetings with homeless teens at the Preble Street Teen Center to provide free legal advice, resource referrals and an occasional pizza.
The Juvenile Justice Clinic provides opportunities for some students to pursue broader juvenile justice policy issues. For example, students often work with Maine’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Group and Criminal Law Advisory Committee to research, draft and edit proposed legislation. Other students may work on ongoing juvenile advocacy projects in Maine, and around the country.