Training and Technical Assistance

PJDC’s core goal is to ensure justice for youth by promoting excellence in juvenile defense. By providing cutting edge specialized trainings and support services to attorneys, PJDC works to ensure the most dynamic, effective defense for youth.

PJDC fills a critical need in offering the chronically under-resourced California juvenile defense bar specialized trainings and technical support services. When lawyers and youth advocates have access to PJDC’s juvenile-focused resources, they achieve better outcomes for youth. PJDC’s trainings go far beyond the four corners of the law to include presentations on adolescent development, educational advocacy, trial skills, appellate practice, how to most effectively use experts, reducing disparate treatment of marginalized populations, what works in rehabilitation, and many other topics relevant to youth advocacy. Moreover, since its inception, PJDC has educated attorneys on the benefits of holistic representation and the ways that this type of representation reduces incarceration and lessens system impact on our most vulnerable youth.

PJDC Roundtable Audience
PJDC Roundtable Notes

By providing both on-line and in-person training and support throughout the state of California, PJDC strives to ensure that even those practicing in rural and remote areas have access to our resources. In addition, PJDC maintains four different listservs where members can post questions and receive immediate guidance. PJDC also maintains a Resource Bank for members to assist them in representing youth. Moreover, several PJDC Board members provide technical assistance to attorneys litigating their matters in trial and appellate courts. By providing these varied services PJDC is able to assist defenders in securing justice for youth no matter where they work or are located.

The following are some of PJDC’s training programs:

  • All-day intensive training in Redding, California for juvenile defenders practicing in rural areas of Northern California (first presented May 5, 2018; future trainings will take place in the Central Valley).
  • Full day A.B. 703 training at a pre-conference day at the Center for Families, Children and the Courts’ Beyond the Bench Conference in San Diego (December 18, 2017).
  • Annual Roundtable Conferences that feature policy, legislative and case law updates, plenary speakers, and breakout workshops on key issues for defenders (Our 15th annual Roundtable in Fall 2018, was held in San Bernardino).
  • Full and half-day trainings about litigating transfer hearings have been presented throughout the state.
  • “How to Be A Juvenile Defender: A Soup to Nuts Review (AB 703 Training),” a comprehensive juvenile defender training — and the first ever statewide comprehensive training designed to meet the requirements of  A.B. 703 and Rule 6.664 which PJDC had helped to enact:
    • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (June 4, 2016)
    • Berkeley Law (Boalt) School, Berkeley (June 11, 2016)
    • Participants received more than 80 handouts on the issues covered in the training; a streamed version is available on line here.
  • Three-day training and the first ever trial skills institute designed specifically for juvenile defenders in California: “Trial Skills for Juvenile Public Defenders,” presented with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Youth Law Center, and Loyola Law School Los Angeles Center for Juvenile Law and Policy at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (September 16-18, 2011).
  • Half-day session given in conjunction with the Center for Families, Children and the Courts Beyond the Bench Conference in San Diego, “Motions, Writs, and Appeal Practice for Delinquency Defense Attorneys.” (June 4, 2010).

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