Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinic

The Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinic (CJJC) provides legal representation to poor children and young adults who are accused or have been convicted of delinquency and crime. The CJJC is a national leader in expanding the concept of legal representation for children and young adults to include their social, psychological, and educational needs. Students will examine the juvenile and criminal legal systems’ relationship to the poor and marginalized through litigation, legislative advocacy, and public education. Students will learn a wide array of litigation skills. They will draft motions, briefs, and other pleadings in state, appellate, and federal courts. They will also interview clients and witnesses; inspect crime scenes; conduct fact investigations; participate in hearings, trials, sentencings, and post-conviction matters; and pursue alternatives to incarceration. Licensed third-year students may appear in court, argue motions and appeals, negotiate with opposing counsel, and serve as “second chairs” for trials. The CJJC also advocates for system change and for smart policies for crime and violence prevention. Students work in teams, including with the CJJC social worker and social work students, to foster collaboration and ensure continuity in representation. Participation in the CJJC includes a weekly seminar session. Students wishing to enroll are strongly encouraged to take Evidence during their second year and to take Criminal Procedure and the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop or another trial advocacy course. The CJJC is a full-year clinic. Students with questions may contact Professor Herschella Conyers or Professor Erica Zunkel to learn more.