The Youth Justice Education Clinic:
Home of the Everychild Integrated Education & Legal Advocacy Project
The Center for Juvenile Law & Policy (CJLP) at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles was chosen by the Everychild Foundation to develop an innovative program that will train law students in best practices to represent foster youth involved in educational and juvenile justice proceedings.
The unique crossover program, the Everychild Integrated Education & Legal Advocacy Project (EIELAP), will train 36 law students from the Youth Justice Education Clinic to assist 300 Los Angeles youth over the course of three years. Loyola law students will work as part of a collaborative team that will include education advocates, criminal-defense representatives and social workers. “Foster youth already have the deck stacked against them when it comes to the criminal justice system,” said Loyola Professor Sean Kennedy, Kaplan & Feldman Executive Director of the CJLP and former Federal Public Defender, Central District of California. “With the Everychild Foundation’s significant help, we have the power to fulfill a critical unmet need: the holistic representation of foster youth who have been charged with crimes. Together, we have the opportunity to secure justice for kids who have traditionally lacked the means to obtain it.”
Avoiding the “school to prison pipeline” requires acknowledging and addressing the causal relationship between unmet special-education needs and court involvement. Many of the clinic's clients are children who are entitled to Regional Center services, social security relief, or Individualized Education Plans that the school system has failed to provide. At the Youth Justice Education Clinic, law students under the supervision of an education attorney represent these clients in due process hearings, disciplinary hearings, and IEP assessments in order to advocate for their legal entitlements. By addressing the special education needs of these children, the Center increases their chances for a lasting positive outcome.
For course information, please visit here.