Youth Justice Clinic

Created to address the growing need for skilled lawyers in juvenile justice litigation and research positions, the Youth Justice Clinic will focus on the “school-to-prison pipeline.” It will partner with the Legal Aid Society to handle school suspension cases related to clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies; and it will work with other organizations and government agencies in doing impact work that will address problems associated with youth in the education and justice systems. Cardozo students will work in two-person teams under direct supervision, developing litigation, research, writing and advocacy skills. In addition, they will work in case development, client interviewing, counseling, drafting complaints, motions, advocacy materials, as well as learning oral advocacy in a wide range of settings.


Check out the Youth Justice Clinic's newly released report,

Rethinking Rikers: Moving From a Correctional to a Therapeutic Model for Youth.


Ellen Yaroshefsky - Director


Ellen's Bio

Ellen Yaroshefsky is Clinical Professor of Law and the Executive Director of the Jacob Burns Ethics Center at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York. She teaches professional responsibility courses, organizes ethics programs and is the director of Cardozo’s Intensive Trial Advocacy Program.  Ellen created the Youth Justice Clinic and will be working with students this Fall.


Yaroshefsky is a member of the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, an independent monitor that investigates corruption and helps maintain integrity in state government.


She represents lawyers and law firms in criminal, civil and disciplinary matters and serves as an expert witness on legal ethics issues.


She serves as an ethics consultant and frequently lectures on topics involving the law of lawyering to a wide variety of bar associations and other groups.  She is cochair of the Ethics, Gideon and Professionalism Committee of the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section, cochair of the Ethics Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the ethics advisor for the Prosecutorial and Judicial Complaint Center of the New York Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a member of the advisory board of the Justice Center of the New York County Lawyers Association and of New York State Bar Association Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct, and has served on various committees of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She has received a number of awards for litigation and received the New York State Bar Association award for “Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Criminal Law Education.”   


From 1975-82 she was a criminal defense lawyer practicing in Seattle, Washington.  In 1982 she joined the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, litigating civil rights, criminal and international human rights cases. She was in private practice in New York from 1988-1992 and has been a full-time member of the Cardozo faculty since then.  Prior to joining Clayman and Rosenberg, Ms. Yaroshefsky was of counsel to Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP, specializing in the law of lawyering.

Constitutional Underpinnings 

School Suspension Hearing Guides and Preparation Materials

 School Suspension Guide.pdf - Legal Aid Society School Suspension Guide
 Case Preparation-An Overview.pdf - Legal Aid Society
 Direct Examination Info.pdf - Legal Aid Society
 Cross Examination Info.pdf - Legal Aid Society
 Closing Statements Info.pdf - Legal Aid Society
 Common Suspension Issues.pdf - Legal Aid Society

The Education System and School Discipline

Raise the Age

City Council Testimony.pdf- Resolution supporting NYS Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman's call on the NYS Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign legislation raising the age of criminal responsibility for nonviolent offenses to 18 and permit the cases of 16 and 17 year-olds charged with such offenses to be adjudicated in the Family Court rather than the adult criminal justice system.

Adolescents and the Courts

 Sentencing Issues for Adolescents - Legal Aid Society

Youth Corrections

Youth in Confinement - Correctional Association of New York

Mental Health

Cultural Competency 


Stops, Detentions and Constitutional Rights

Expert Report (from Floyd) Executive Summary.pdf - Center for Constitutional Rights 

Girls and LGBTQ Issues

Understanding the Female Offender - Broidy and Cauffman

Problem Solving Courts and Other Alternatives

Comparative Jurisdictions

School-to-Prison Pipeline Resources

Judith Kaye Taskforce 

Youth Justice Organizations

Bronx Resources

Alternate Providers

Symposium: Race, Law and Justice: Strategies for Closing the School-to-Prison Pipeline by Kings County District Attorney's Office, Medgar Evers College and Dr. William L. Pollard

Videos & Visual Resources

The Color of Justice by Center for Children's Advocacy
Life After Lock-Up by Center for Children's Advocacy
Legal Rights in Juvenile Detention by Center for Children's Advocacy
Legal Rights in Foster Care by Center for Children's Advocacy

Recent Articles & Publications

National Juvenile Defense Standards - National Juvenile Defender Center
The Sting of Juvenile Detention by David Maass of the Crime Report