The Juvenile Justice Clinic


Watch Domonique Alcaraz ’18 discuss her experiences in the Juvenile Justice Clinic.

COVID-19 Update 

To read further about the response of juvenile defenders to the COVID-19 crisis, please see:

Legal Lunch Bites: LLS Faculty Discuss the Impact of COVID-19

Samantha Buckingham (JJC Clinical Director), "MEMO: TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN AND FIGHT THE CORONAVIRUS, RELEASE YOUTH FROM JUVENILE DETENTION." The Justice Collaborative Institute: Data for Progress. April 3, 2020.

NJDC issues statement on COVID-19 and the urgent need for the juvenile legal system to act

Statement on COVID-19 and Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

 "Youths in detention should be released to reduce coronavirus risk, advocates say." The Los Angeles Times, March 17, 2020.

"Cut off from their kids, parents of juvenile detainees wait and worry as coronavirus spreads." The Los Angeles Times, April 6, 2020.


Now back to our regular programming:


The Juvenile Justice Clinic 

JJC Mission Statement

The Juvenile Justice Clinic at Loyola Law School provides holistic, client-centered advocacy for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. We join with movements that challenge institutionalized racism on all levels and seek to dismantle the systems that perpetuate it. We unequivocally stand with the Black Lives Matter movement in the fight against all systems which continue to oppress Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.  We continually hold ourselves accountable to our clients, to dismantling the unjust system, and to affirming the value of every individual we represent. In doing so, we are guided by three core principles:

  • Providing holistic, client-centered representation. Our team of social workers, certified law students, and attorneys advocate for dignified solutions that meet our client’s stated interests.
  • Being conscious of the community we are serving. Our understanding that kids are fundamentally different from adults and face hardships unique to their developmental stage drives how we represent our clients. 
  • Zealously advocate for every juvenile client. Every member of our team vows to decenter themselves and challenge their implicit biases.  The clinic trains future generations of defenders to celebrate and honor young people and fight for our communities. 

The Juvenile Justice Clinic commits to breaking down barriers to justice and liberating all youth from the shackles of the criminal legal system. 

- JJC Class of 2020-2021

The Juvenile Justice Clinic at Loyola Law School is one of a small handful of live client clinics nationwide where students have the opportunity to regularly represent children in delinquency court. 

Students directly represent children charged with offenses in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Each student will be responsible for all aspects of their cases-- including interviewing, discovery, investigations, written motion work, trial and post sentencing matters.

Clinical students are required to enroll in two courses: a year-long juvenile delinquency and litigation skills course. For more information, see Course Information.

A multidisciplinary approach to representing children is the hallmark of our philosophy. Our social-work staff plays a key role in our representation of every one of our clients. See information on holistic representation here.

Applicants to the Juvenile Justice Clinic should have an interest in criminal defense or juvenile delinquency, enjoy oral advocacy, and possess strong communication skills. Students must demonstrate flexibility and the maturity to assume responsibility for representing clients. 

Prior academic performance will be considered; however, weight will be given to those students who can demonstrate an interest in the issues presented as well as to those who have prior experience in a related field. 


JJC student Jonathan Bremen, flanked by JJC faculty and students, after arguing before the 2nd District Court of Appeal on behalf of a juvenile client.
Class of 2018 at Summer Orientation, a mandatory and rigorous annual rite of passage for incoming JJC students. Also pictured: Clinical Director Samantha Buckingham, center.
JJC students Marlon Llanes ('18) and Alma Pinan-Luz ('18) after defending juvenile clients at Eastlake Courthouse. Just another day in the Juvenile Justice Clinic.
JJC Class of 2018-2019, flanked by JJC Social Worker Vanessa Alvarez on the left; Clinical Director Samantha Buckingham (in red) and Supervising Attorney Brooke Harris on the right.