Juvenile Court

Ventura County’s Juvenile Court is a more collaborative and holistic court process than the adult court system. Depending on the severity of the crime and the background of the child, juvenile clients typically receive deferred entry of judgment, informal probation, or formal probation with time spent in the juvenile justice center. In addition to providing legal representation, public defenders advocate for juvenile clients in other aspects of their lives, including drug addiction, mental illness, health concerns, and school deficiencies. Law clerks are assigned to a supervising attorney in the juvenile unit. Clerks write motions, prepare for adjudication hearings, facilitate client interactions, help with investigations, and gather discovery. Law clerks may also be assigned to a special project by their supervising attorney that will last for the duration of their time with the office. A recent example is reviewing Proposition 47-eligible cases. Law clerks play a central role in Truancy Court as well, where they interview clients and clients’ families, request discovery, provide case work-ups for supervising attorneys, and appear in court proceedings.