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The National Juvenile Defender Center organizes and delivers high-quality training sessions on a broad range of topics for defenders—or, by request, for other juvenile justice professionals—around the country. Our expert presenters provide interactive, practice-focused training for large or small groups; we have been especially successful at hosting small-scale, intense sessions on narrow topics such as detention advocacy, competency, or adolescent development. Training programs can vary in length from hours to days depending on the needs of the attorneys. Please contact NJDC if you are interested in co-sponsoring training in your area.

State and Local Training

We can tailor training sessions to fit the needs and interests of the defenders in attendance and always modify our presentations to reflect the particular circumstances of the relevant area, but we are pleased to offer certain standard trainings based on several of our publications:

  • Basic Skills and Strategies—We introduce new attorneys, or defenders new to juvenile work, to the practice of advocating at delinquency proceedings. These sessions are based on our Delinquency Notebook, providing a comprehensive foundation for zealous advocacy.
  • Detention Advocacy—We also host training on detention advocacy, focused solely on pre-adjudicatory efforts to prevent the unnecessary detention of youth. These sessions are based on our detention advocacy guide and provide a practical explanation of how to represent children at detention hearings as well as outside the courtroom.
  • Adolescent Development—The five modules of our MacArthur Juvenile Court Training Curriculum focus on child development, communicating with teens, mental health assessments, pathways to violence, special education, and competency evaluations. Training sessions based on the Curriculum can focus on one or any combination of modules.

Juvenile Defender Leadership Summit

Our major annual training event is the Juvenile Defender Leadership Summit. This invitation-only event brings together juvenile defenders from every state and the District of Columbia for three days of information sharing, training, networking, organizing, and strategic planning. Presentations focus on a wide range of practice and policy issues. Each year, we distribute a Juvenile Defender Resource Guide that includes new articles, studies, case briefs, court decisions, and other information relevant to juvenile defense.

Recorded Training

Juvenile Training Immersion Program (JTIP)

JTIP is a highly specialized, comprehensive 40-lesson juvenile defense trial advocacy training program. Designed to enhance the capacity of juvenile defense attorneys across the country, JTIP provides the foundation for high-quality, meaningful representation. The program is structured to help defenders meet their obligations at every stage of the delinquency system, providing a substantive overview of juvenile and criminal law and developing effective trial advocacy skills. JTIP is designed to encourage interactive and dynamic learning through interactive exercises, hypothetical case scenarios, facilitated discussions, guides for developing legal arguments, and other training tools. For more information on bringing a JTIP training to your area, please contact NJDC at inquiries@njdc.info.

JTIP Summer Academy

The National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) and Georgetown Law are excited to announce a Call for Applications to the inaugural Juvenile Training Immersion Program (JTIP) Summer Academy. The JTIP Summer Academy will be an annual one-week intensive juvenile defender training program intended for both new and experienced front-line defenders. This year’s Summer Academy will be held in Washington, DC. Applications are available here.

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