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Clinic - Youth Defense & Reentry Legal Services

Clinic - Youth Defense and Reentry Legal Services Credits: 2.00 In a given year, up to 100,000 young people under the age of 25 will be arrested in New York City.  Thirty thousand will be convicted, and 7,000 will be incarcerated. At any of these entry points with the criminal justice system, lasting consequences arise. Because the legal system targets young people of color, these consequences are borne most heavily by Black and Latinx youth, while immigrants, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming youth and young people with mental health issues also suffer unique and intersecting harm. In response, Youth Represent's flagship community-lawyering model provides critical legal services to young people in their own neighborhoods, and we use insights from this on-the-ground legal work to inform our progressive policy agenda. The Youth Defense & Reentry Clinic gives students the opportunity to combat racial inequities in the legal system by eliminating the potentially lifelong barriers to success that an arrest or conviction can create. Students will gain exposure to a wide variety of legal practice areas, including employment, family, housing, criminal, and education law. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone considering a career in public defense because understanding the collateral consequences of a conviction is critical to providing adequate criminal representation. Students will be able to stand in court and in administrative hearings under our student practice order, conduct legal research on novel macro and micro issues, draft pleadings, facilitate client intakes, and learn motivational interviewing and youth development principles. The clinic is a year-long experience, with students being placed for one semester at Youth Represent and in the other at the Community Service Society. It includes a 2-credit weekly seminar with discussions on caseloads, the systems that uphold and enforce the hidden penalties of a criminal conviction, and the current and evolving state of law, policy, and criminal justice. Letter grade, Internship: P/F