Youth Advocacy Clinic

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'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 kids 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.

Learn More

Read about all of Duquesne Law's clinical legal education programs.

Clinic News

Tiffany Sizemore, Assistant Professor of Clinical Legal Education receives Robert Wood Johnson award
Duquesne Law News

Assistant Professor of Clinical Legal Education Tiffany Sizemore receives the Passion Meets the Road Award
for her outstanding service through the Education Law and Juvenile Defender Clinic

Vision Towards Peace

From schools to jail: How hundreds of kids get arrested in Pittsburgh schools each year
Public Source

Facing armed officers in local schools
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Education Law Clinic students participate in national event
Duquesne Law News

Prof. Sizemore-Thompson discusses repercussions of school district's hoodie ban
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Front-page story details plans for Education Law Clinic
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Editorial lauds Education Law Clinic's service to area families
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Education Law Clinic at work for parents, students 
DU Times

Juvenile Defender Clinic hosts meeting for public housing representatives
Duquesne Law

Erasing juvenile records: Duquesne Law School and Housing Authority win expungement grant
New Pittsburgh Courier

Professor Tiffany Sizemore speaks at a Restorative Justice meeting
New Pittsburgh Courier

Charges dropped against teen arrested in ruckus outside Downtown Pittsburgh's Wood Street T Station
Pittsburgh City Paper

No Safe Harbor Part II: Prisons cope with mental illness
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Juvenile Defender Clinic advocates for children, fills Allegheny County need
DU Times