Sean Kennedy

L.A. County Bar Association Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year

As the Kaplan and Feldman director of the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy at Loyola Law School, Sean Kennedy ’89 helps to guide the center toward its overarching goal — helping to bring about reform to Los Angeles’ juvenile justice system. “The center exists to remind the court system that we shouldn’t give up on at-risk youth,” says Kennedy. He noted that the city’s system has had a tendency of treating children like adults, subjecting them to long sentences. The center is actively working toward bringing “the juvenile justice system back to its rehabilitation roots.”

Aside from teaching as an adjunct professor at Loyola Law, Kennedy has also coached the Byrne Trial Advocacy Team — as a student, he was also on the Scott Moot Court Honors Board, which was an experience that influenced him tremendously, and pushed him to become involved with coaching. “The school’s emphasis on practical skills and training can get you through tough times with cases, and the training that began at the Scott Moot Court was a great base to start from [for me],” he says. As a teacher, he encourages his students to give back as much as possible, that they should “use the law degree to help people, and in particular less-fortunate people.” In 2013, the Los Angeles County Bar Association named Kennedy the Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year and Loyola Law also awarded Kennedy with the Fidler Institute Award for Defense Lawyer of the Year. The law school’s Public Interest Law Foundation awarded him with the Public Interest Award, as well.