WilmerHale associates Leeor Neta, Evelyn Mak, Laurel Parker and Clara O’Brien recently donated their time to participate in the East Palo Alto Youth Court Mock Hearing, the first public endeavor of a new program designed to provide an alternative to the juvenile justice system for youth who commit minor offenses.
In a pro bono effort to support young people and assist them in learning legal and life skills, Mr. Neta and Ms. Mak served as legal advisors to the advocates during the mock hearing in East Palo Alto, California.
The Youth Court is staffed by adolescents who serve in various capacities within the program, acting in the role of jurors, lawyers, bailiffs, clerks, with retired Judge LaDoris Cordell presiding over the proceedings. The goal of the Youth Court’s jury’s sentences is to repair the harm the offender has caused and to increase the offender’s constructive involvement in his or her community in the future.
The East Palo Alto Youth Court is a community-based diversion program that uses positive peer influence with adult mentoring to help young people make amends for harm they have caused. To learn more about this program please click here.