Youth Justice Education Clinic
Stacy Nuñez joined YJEC as a 2L in the 2020-2021 school year and returned as an advanced clinical law student this year. Over the course of those two years, she has grown into a fierce advocate for her clients and represented some of the clinic’s toughest cases, including a 21-year-old deaf client who experienced chronic housing insecurity for years and a 16-year-old client in and out of incarceration since the age of 12. Despite the intensity of this work, Stacy consistently shows up for her clients with grace and conviction and regularly stands up against oppressive school and probation system—all while remaining calm and collected.
In YJEC, Stacy filed several different types of complaints including a compliance complaint, three due process complaints, and the Clinic’s first regional center complaint in five years. In each of these, Stacy has experimented with new ways to tell our clients’ stories persuasively, including, for example, using photos of clients in order to humanize them. In one of several negotiations with school districts, Stacy with another YJEC student fought to avoid the most punitive probation placement, in a Secure Youth Treatment Facility, by arguing, alongside the client’s defense attorney, for a therapeutic residential treatment center through his Individualized Education Plan (a decarceration strategy never before attempted in Los Angeles County).
In addition to representing clients, Stacy has also participated in YJEC’s Education Policy Practicum, where she participated in several education coalitions including the Education Justice Coalition, which focused on increasing community-led accountability for education in juvenile detention facilities. Her culminating policy paper focused on legislative solutions to improve education for detained youth. As the Division of Juvenile Justice closes and youth are moved to County-run Secure Youth Facilities, Stacy remains active in meetings where stakeholders discuss what education for these youth will look like.