At Teen Court, the defendant has already admitted guilt. Thus, the job of the Teen Attorneys is not to prove that the defendant is guilty or innocent, but rather to explain the reasons why the defendant committed the offense. The Teen Attorneys present this information to the jury through opening statements, questioning, and closing arguments. Students participate as trained prosecuting and defense attorneys, clerk, bailiff, victim’s advocate, as well as jurors or juror instructors. Student participants are able to develop public speaking and critical thinking skills through participation in the various roles, and can also receive credit toward their high school community service requirement. They have the opportunity to broaden their participation in the Teen Court from year to year through by mastering each role and can become mentors for new students in the program. The experience is a valuable addition to a college or employment application and resume.
Volunteering at Teen Court is as rewarding for adults as it is for teens. It’s a chance to give back to the community. Everyone benefits when young people grow!
We welcome all attorneys and local Magistrate, Municipal, and District Court judges to preside as Teen Court judges. It’s much simpler and more rewarding than you might think. It gives you a chance to make a difference in the lives of young people. You can offer encouragement and hope to these young offenders after their sentencing and give constructive feedback to young attorneys. If you would like to preside at your local Teen Court, please contact them by clicking the “Your Local Teen Court” on the homepage.
We’re always looking for civic groups, leaders, professionals, and educators who have relevance to our programs. If you’d like to discuss being a guest speaker at an event, workshop or in one of our programs, please contact us.