In the Youth, Education and Justice Clinic you will represent children in Maryland who have been pushed out of school via suspension, expulsion, or other means, as well as individuals serving life sentences for crimes committed when they were children or emerging adults. Our clients live on opposite ends of the “school to prison pipeline.” This pipeline connects exclusionary school discipline, criminalization, the juvenile/criminal legal systems, and incarceration. Often, our child clients are punished for who they are (which includes their race, gender, socioeconomic status, and disability status), while our incarcerated clients continue to be punished for acts committed decades ago, when they were wholly different people than the middle-aged or elderly adults they have become.
A significant part our clinic work is fully introducing our clients to those with the power to make decisions that dictate or otherwise significantly impact their lives. You will do this by conveying your clients’ stories and holding systems accountable. Practicing as a community lawyer, you will also engage in policy and legislative advocacy efforts that aim to keep children in schools so that they are able to secure the education they need and deserve and provide life-sentenced individuals a meaningful opportunity of release from incarceration.