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Youth Justice Clinic

Law 390






Either a one or two-semester clinic in which third-year law students represent children accused of crimes. Our cases principally involve the defense of children in delinquency and undisciplined proceedings in Durham and Orange Counties. In this context, students handle a wide variety of felony and misdemeanor cases.

While cases are assigned to individual students, each student works closely with a partner and the pair meets weekly as a team with their faculty supervisor. Within this structure, students' research legal theories and defenses, draft motions and legal memoranda, and prepare witness examinations and argument for evidentiary hearings. Students also conduct pre-trial and pre-sentencing investigations in which they interview witnesses as well as family members and service providers. Throughout the process, students maintain regular contact with their clients, advising and counseling them at each stage.

Students appear in court frequently and handle all aspects of juvenile court practice and procedure, including detention, probable cause, motions, trial and sentencing. Students regularly negotiate with prosecutors and court personnel on behalf of their clients.

Evidence, Criminal Procedure: Investigation, Trial Advocacy (may be taken concurrently). In addition, Criminal Procedure: Adjudication is strongly recommended. Students entering the Juvenile Justice Clinic for either the fall or the spring must also register for Criminal Lawyering Process in the fall.

T. Birckhead, B. Fedders

Fall, Spring
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UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106

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