Juvenile Law Clinic

Professor Paula Kaldis
Email: pota@mslaw.edu
Phone: 978.681.0800 X117

Class Syllabus

Course Description
This course will feature hands-on instruction on the preparation for hearings and trial of juvenile court cases. Students will observe juvenile court proceedings, will assist in the preparation of care and protection cases, and will represent children in chins and delinquency cases. They will be exposed to the subject matter jurisdiction of the juvenile court as they prepare and present their cases. The course will include instruction on the rules of evidence, the law regarding admissibility of child statements, the introduction and use of documents and exhibits, direct examination, cross examination (including impeachment) and persuasive courtroom communication. Law students will participate in the pre-trial investigation, draft and argue pre-trial motions, do all aspects of the trial work, including, but not limited to opening statements, cross and direct examinations of witnesses, and closing arguments, and argue at disposition.

Course Requirements
Students are required to have completed courses in Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure and Evidence. Completion of Family and/or Juvenile Law is recommended but not required.

Goals & Objectives
This course will train law students, under the supervision of attorneys and clinical professors, to represent children in chins and delinquency cases, and assist attorneys in care and protection cases. We intend to work with the community, child welfare, educational, mental health and juvenile justice systems in order to accomplish effective legal representation of children in these matters.

Our specific goals are:

  1. To teach law students how to interview and advise child clients, research legal issues, prepare for hearings, draft court memoranda, and, most important, how to advocate for their child client in the most effective, competent and ethical manner.
  2. To provide competent legal representation of children on a pro bono basis.
  3. To assist the court in the swift and effective administration of juvenile cases.

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