Center for Juvenile Law and Policy
The Center for Juvenile Law and Policy is home to three live-client clinics:
- The Juvenile Justice Clinic
- The Youth Justice Education Clinic
- The Juvenile Innocence and Fair Sentencing Clinic
In these clinics, students have the opportunity to regularly represent children in delinquency court proceedings, education hearings, probation hearings, and appellate work. Each clinic requires enrollment in a year-long course tied to its respective focus (procedure and litigation skills for the JJC; California education law and lawyering skills for YJEC; investigation and appellate processes for the JIFS Clinic). The coursework prepares clinical students for all aspects of representation of their clients, from initial interviews through hearings, disposition, and post-disposition case management.
A multidisciplinary approach to representing children is the hallmark of our philosophy. Our social-work staff play a key role in our representation of every one of our clients and work in close collaboration with clinical students in case management and client relations. See information on holistic representation.
The Center is located on the 5th floor of the Casassa building. Students in the class are each assigned a computer workstation for their use where wireless access is available. The classes take place in the Trial Advocacy Center.
Acceptance is by application only. Applications for all three clinics are posted in the spring.
Hobbs/Poehls District Attorney Practicum
The Hobbs/Poehls District Attorney Practicum offers Loyola students the unique opportunity to get actual courtroom experience at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, after receiving intensive, specialized training to prepare them for the experience. In their second semester externship, Hobbs students actually prepare and conduct felony preliminary hearings on a wide variety of cases in some of the busiest courtrooms in L.A. County, as well as juvenile adjudications and even some misdemeanor jury trials. In recent semesters, Hobbs students have successfully tried and convicted defendants in drug, DUI, theft, and assault cases. All students develop and utilize skills in witness interviewing, case preparation, direct and cross examination as well as making legal arguments to judges and juries. By the end of the externship, Hobbs students develop a confidence and comfort in the courtroom that usually takes new lawyers years to develop.
Byrne Trial Advocacy Team
Loyola’s Byrne Trial Advocacy Team, is a co-curricular program in which Loyola students receive extensive, personalized training as they prepare to compete in a series of regional and national mock trial competitions. The faculty adviser and head coach for the program is Professor Susan Poehls, who has lead the team to seven national championships and 20 regional championships in her 25 years of coaching the team. Based on our record of outstanding results in these competitions, Loyola has repeatedly been ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 10 trial advocacy programs in the country. Last spring, Loyola was named the fifth best trial advocacy program! Because of their intensive training and experience, Byrne Team members develop superior skills in all aspects of trial advocacy, including opening statement, direct and cross examination as well as closing argument. In short, after 20 to 50 mock jury trials during their time on the team, Byrne Team members leave law school with the skills of a seasoned trial attorney.