The Youth Advocacy Clinic provides a unique opportunity for 2L & 3L students to represent
children in both delinquency and education matters. Students will interview, advise,
and represent clients from the inception of the case and, once-certified, be able
to represent clients in court and administrative proceedings. In delinquency matters,
the clinic will handle: traditional delinquency cases, juvenile record expungement
matters, and Protection From Abuse matters in which minors are defendants. In education
matters, the clinic will handle: both informal and formal school discipline matters
and special education matters including, but not limited to: identification, evaluation,
placement and discipline in the context of students with disabilities.
Both juvenile defense and education law are specialized areas of law, and students
will be trained accordingly, with an intensive training period at the beginning of
the school year and important trainings throughout the life of the clinic. Students
will be the advocates for their clients, but the clinical professor will be present
in the courtroom or hearing room at all times while the student is before a judicial
or hearing officer.
The clinic will operate as a holistic representation model, with the overall goal
of the representation being to meet as many of the client's needs as possible, not
solely the single legal issue that brings them to the clinic. The clinic features
an ongoing partnership with masters-level social work students from the University
of Pittsburgh and doctorate-level school psychology students from Duquesne University's
School of Education. Students from all disciplines will work in interdisciplinary
teams on most cases in order to implement the holistic model. Students will be trained
on the model and there will be ongoing assessment throughout the academic year to
determine students' learning around the model.
The clinic seeks to keep minors in school and out of detention centers, juvenile justice
placements and jail. To that end, the clinic engages in policy and advocacy work around
issues pertinent to our clients' cases. When appropriate, the clinic performs community
education workshops, attends community meetings, and meets with relevant stakeholders
to determine ways to provide legal information. Students who take this clinic will
be immersed in issues related to dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline.
Two-Semester Graded Course
Credits: 6 Credits (3 classroom credits, 3 non-classroom credits)
Enrollment: 16 Students
Clinic Hours to Be Completed: 270 Hours (Minimum of 10 Hours per Week)
Class Meeting Time: .Friday, 1:00 p..m. - 2:45 p.m.
Class Location: Room 308, Hanley Hall
Office Hours: Fridays - 12:00 - 1:00 p.m., Room 309, Tribone Building and other times by appointment
Students should be available on court days (Mon, Tues., or Thurs.), to accompany clients,
according to cases and class schedules
Kara L. Dempsey, Esq.
Tribone Building, Office 309