It is time to plead with the law schools to recognize juvenile delinquency law as a speciality area and offer courses to expose law students to this possible path in their future practice. We need to do more to ensure an adequate supply of learned professionals in the area of juvenile justice.
Looking at the four Indiana law schools, the following courses and clinics were noted:
Maurer School of Law (Indiana University-Bloomington) — No clinical, juvenile justice, or juvenile law courses are offered. There is a family law course and a seminar in children and the law is taught by Prof. Madiera that includes one or two lectures on juvenile delinquency law.
McKinney School of Law (Indiana University-Indianapolis) — No clinic is offered, but Prof. Schumm teaches a juvenile justice class periodically.
Notre Dame Law School — The family law clinic is no longer listed, but a juvenile law course is listed in the course catalog as being offered periodically.
Valparaiso Law School — A juvenile clinic offers a variety of juvenile law practice areas, including CHINS, guardianships, and delinquency defense. There are also courses in family law and children and the law.
Law students need to be exposed to juvenile delinquency law as a speciality area that has its own procedures and case law, as well as requiring a command of criminal law and procedure and trial procedures. As other states begin to implement juvenile law as a special practice area, Indiana is falling behind.