UNC Law Students Working to Reduce Juvenile Delinquency

Jackson A. Lanier

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Anchor Lead: UNC students are known for giving back to their community. One group of UNC Law students is doing just that while learning about their future profession. Reporter Jackson Lanier has more.

Jackson: During the week, the Historic Orange County Courthouse sits largely empty, but once a month the courthouse comes alive and it is partly in thanks to UNC Law students. Six UNC Law students volunteer with a program called Teen Court.

Giduz; so teen court is a program for kids between the ages of 11 and 17. The first time they get in trouble with the law, and it’s a program that it’s a type of diversion program, which means it’s an alternative to going to real court.

Jackson: However, unlike real court, Teen Court is ran entirely by teens except for the judge who is an actual attorney. The President of the Volunteers for Youth Board of Directors, Skye MacLeod, says that program would not be the same without the law school volunteers.

MacLeod: they sit with the kids, they talk to them about their whether they’re going to focus on in the opening, they helped them write their cross and direct and talk to them about evidentiary problems that they could have. So, to me, that’s, that’s a unique aspect of the Orange County program. And it’s great to have them partnering with us.

Jackson: While the law students help the high school volunteers understand court procedure, second year law student Camilla Romana, says that Teen Court has taught her lessons that she couldn’t have learned in the classroom.

Romana: So I got exposure to evidence and trial procedures before actually took those classes in my second year, which was a really cool. … And then the coolest part about it is that we get to go into the jury room. And while we’re not allowed to say anything, we can never do that as lawyers. So it’s kind of cool to be able to do that at teen court and see how people deliberate about cases.

Jackson: The teen volunteers say that the UNC law students are a tremendous resource and have inspired many of them to go to law school. In Hillsborough, I’m Jackson Lanier, Carolina Week

Anchor Tag: UNC Law students have been volunteering with the Orange County Teen Court Program since the early 2000s.

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