Juvenile Justice Clinic students

The Juvenile Justice Clinic was founded in 1973, a mere six years after the Supreme Court extended the right to counsel and procedural due process to children in its landmark case In re Gault.

One of the first law-school-based clinics specializing in children’s issues, the Juvenile Justice Clinic sought to fulfill the mandate of the Gault decision, expand the legal rights of children and ensure that children are protected from maltreatment by their parents or the government.

In its early years, the Clinic handled all types of cases involving children, delinquency, education, and child neglect and abuse among others, and helped to formulate policy at the local and national levels. Over time, the Clinic’s focus narrowed to handling only delinquency cases and education cases.

In 2015, the faculty of the Juvenile Justice Clinic expanded the reach of the Clinic by establishing theĀ Georgetown Law Juvenile Justice Initiative. The Initiative is designed to explore and advance new policies and programs to assist young people and to train juvenile defenders across the nation as the Clinic continues its core mission of educating law students and representing youth accused of crime. We are now the home of the Youth Defender Advocacy Program (YDAP) Summer Academy and the Ambassadors for Racial Justice Program, both co-sponsored by the Initiative and the Gault Center, as well as the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Gault Center (formerly the Mid-Atlantic Juvenile Defender Center) which provides training and support for youth defenders throughout the region.