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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69859 Find in a Library
Title: Impact of Law Student Aides on the Juvenile Court Process - Final Report
Corporate Author: University of the Pacific
McGeorge School of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1970
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
University of the Pacific
Stockton, CA 95204
US Dept of Justice

US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 69-NI-067
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report qualitatively assesses the impact on the Sacramento juvenile court process of using law students as part-time juvenile court aides in the public defender's office.
Abstract: The project, supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, resulted from the Supreme Court's Gault decision that minors facing a juvenile court hearing have the right to counsel. The Sacramento public defender's office had only one attorney who handled nearly half of the 3,300 contested juvenile cases annually. In the present study, three advanced law students were added as part-time aides. Study areas included public defenders' activities before and after the addition of the aides, services to indigent clients, defendants' attitudes, and student aides' knowledge of juvenile law and court procedures. Results showed that use of the aides' permitted the defender to devote much of his time to courtroom work and final preparation for trial. Student aides took over most of the interviewing duties, conferences with probation officers, meetings with parents, and evaluation of police reports. Aides' personal attention improved the attitudes of both juveniles and their parents toward the juvenile court. The students increased their substantive knowledge of California law and significantly developed skills in interviewing, preparation of cases for trial, and evidence gathering. Two of the three students expressed interest in continuing work in juvenile law, and a legislator chose the third to help draft juvenile legislation. This type of project can therefore serve as a means of recruiting attorneys specializing in work with juveniles.
Index Term(s): California; Comparative analysis; Defense services; Juvenile processing; Law student aides; Public defenders; Services effectiveness
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