The mission of the Family Court Division of the New York City Law Department is to promote the well-being of the City’s children and protect the general public. To this end, the Family Court Division prosecutes juvenile delinquency cases to ensure that juveniles who commit delinquent acts are both held accountable and afforded an opportunity for rehabilitation. The Family Court Division of the New York City Law Department serves as the Presentment Agency (prosecutor) in juvenile delinquency cases in the New York City Family Court. The Division has offices in all 5 boroughs. In this one-semester field clinic, students will receive classroom instruction and clinical experience at one of the borough offices.
In the field, students will spend between 12 – 15 hours per week at the New York City Law Department, working closely with experienced attorneys on juvenile delinquency matters. Students will assist with and conduct interviews of witnesses, draft accusatory petitions and other pleadings. Students will also assist in the preparation of legal training materials, conduct legal research, and draft memoranda of law addressing topics such as search and seizure, suppression of evidence, charging challenges and speedy trial. Students will appear in court pursuant to the Special Student Practice Order (subject to court approval), observe court proceedings and assist attorneys with trial preparation.
At the seminar, students will study the New York State Family Court Act (Article 3) as well as select provisions of the New York State Penal Law. The seminar will meet once a week and will provide students with an overview of juvenile delinquency practice. The seminar will cover such topics as how to investigate a case, charging decisions and accusatory petitions, discovery, ethical responsibilities of a prosecutor, suppression hearings, fact-finding hearings (trials) and disposition hearings.