Goals of the Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic

By allowing students to work directly with clients and take responsibility for the caseload, the Juvenile Defender Clinic aspires to help students understand the impact of the legal system on a community.  Students will establish attorney-client relationships with the youths, and learn to be responsible for all aspects of the client representation. 

Specific goals include:

  • To train law students to become skilled, ethical and reform-minded professionals;
  • To provide highly effective representation to the clinicís clients;
  • To teach law students how to think independently, synthesize facts and legal principles, and plan litigation strategies;
  • To improve an adolescentís chance of becoming a productive citizen;
  • To develop a law studentís ability to analyze the substantive law and apply it to the practical courtroom experience; and
  • To help law students understand the impact of the legal system on a community.
Vanda Massa-Moniz 10L and Greg Dewan 10L leaving a courtroom at DeKalb County Juvenile Court

The Juvenile Defender Clinic also strives to improve an adolescent's chances of becoming a productive citizen.  By providing juveniles with superior representation, these youths will be provided with an opportunity to excel in school, and to have a positive view of the legal system.

Student attorneys are to uphold the principles of juvenile defense attorneys. The goal is to advocate zealously for the client, focusing on the wishes of the youth, not the parents.  Students are also expected to demonstrate professional responsibility, and to develop oral and written advocacy during the course of the semester.  Students will also develop practice management, a thoroughness of case analysis and implementation and reflective skills development.