Southern Illinois University School of Law

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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Juvenile Justice Clinic: Information for Law Students

Juvenile Justice Clinic/Law 677

Course Instructor: Clinical Assistant Professor Joanna Wells

The Juvenile Justice Clinic is open to any student who has completed the first year of legal studies and is in good academic standing. See the School of Law Rules relating to Clinics and Field Placements web page for more details about enrollment in clinical courses. Those students who wish to utilize an Illinois Student Practice License (711 License) must have completed 45 hours of law credit and be in good academic standing. Having a 711 License allows students to represent clients and appear in court under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Even though non-711students may not actually represent clients in court, they still may enroll in this course and will be allowed and required to attend court with the supervising attorney and perform work in all other aspects of the course.

Students enrolled in the Juvenile Justice Clinic work with an experienced clinic attorney and perform legal services and duties to minors for whom the clinic attorney has been appointed guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem represents the best interests of these minors for whom neglect, abuse or dependency petitions have been filed in Jackson County, Illinois.

Students improve or enhance the following legal skills through the Juvenile Justice clinical experience:

Factual Investigations
Reviewing Court Documents and Extensive Case Histories and Reports
Drafting and Filing Court Documents
Negotiating with Counsel and Others
Conducting Interviews with Clients and Others
Client Advocacy
Obtaining Knowledge of Appropriate Professional Court Conduct and Interactions
Working with Other Attorneys and Staff in a Law Office Setting
File Management and Case Management
Developing and Implementing Legal Theories

In addition, students have regular class meetings to learn the substantive legal issues most commonly encountered in juvenile neglect, abuse and dependency cases.