Juvenile Defender Clinic Academic Requirements

The Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic is open to third-year law students who are eligible to practice under Georgia’s third-year practice rules.

Students working in the JDC will represent clients in juvenile delinquency proceedings and related matters. They may also work on current legal and policy issues affecting juveniles in the justice system. Students will prepare cases and conduct investigations. For three hours of graded credit, students work a minimum of 150 hours in the clinic.

Student attorneys participating in the JDC are expected to put in as much time as is required to successfully represent juvenile clients. Students must have the flexibility to attend evening and weekend meetings, to meet with clients after their school days have been completed and to work within the parameters of the schedules of busy, working parents.

Students at the JDC are responsible for all aspects of matters JDC undertakes, even those aspects that do not fall neatly within scheduled time frames. While it is hoped that all matters can be scheduled so that the work can be accomplished during predictable working hours, students must be prepared to meet all responsibilities as representation demands, just as any responsible professional must. 

Students are required to keep regular office hours. Obligations for the weekly schedule include case collaboration, supervisory meetings and weekly JDC meetings. Each student also will prepare comprehensive and detailed weekly field notes to provide opportunities to clarify in writing a sense of the work being done and reactions to advocacy experiences.

Final grades in the JDC are based on:

  • Applying professional skills;
  • Quality of field notes;
  • Participation in weekly meetings and supervisory meetings;
  • Building relationships with clients;
  • Quality of courtroom advocacy on behalf of JDC's clients.