National Center for Youth Law

At the Center

NCYL’s Summer Brown Bag Seminar Series

Bring your lunch and join us for the National Center for Youth Law’s 2015 Summer Seminar Series for Law Students! Please invite your summer law clerks to attend. 

2016 Summer Seminar Series for Law Students

                      Please join us for our annual summer seminar series!

Thursday, June 16 (12-1 pm)

Youth Prosecuted as Adults: Impact on Youth and Movements for Reform in California

Frankie Guzman, Staff Attorney, National Center for Youth Law

This robust discussion on laws that allow youth to be prosecuted as adults will also touch on the impact on youth of color, poor communities and the public, as well as current reform efforts, including the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act. Frankie’s experience serving six years in the California Youth Authority informs his ongoing advocacy for improved treatment of and alternative sentencing for youth charged with serious offenses.

Thursday, June 23 (12-1 pm)

Public Interest Post-Graduate Fellowships and Clerkships

Diane Chin, Associate Dean for Public Service and Public Interest Law, Lecturer in Law, Stanford Law School
Raul Arroyo-Mendoza, Pride Law Fund Tom Steel Fellow, National Center for Youth Law
Poonam Juneja, Staff Attorney, National Center for Youth Law
Annie Lee, former Equal Justice Works Fellow, National Center for Youth Law

Have your questions about preparing for the fellowship and clerkship process answered by Diane Chin, a true fellowship guru and the former Director of Equal Justice Works/West, and hear reflections on their experience from a former judicial clerk and current fellow.

Thursday, June 30 (12-1 pm)

The Every Student Succeeds Act: Pivotal Education Reform for System-Involved Youth

Rachel Velcoff Hults, Attorney and FosterEd Chief Operating Officer, National Center for Youth Law

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law in December 2015, contains important provisions regarding the educational stability and success of system-involved students. We will discuss key provisions of the law and their intersection with NCYL’s work to improve education outcomes for students in foster care and under probation supervision in its FosterEd project sites.

Thursday, July 7 (12-1 pm)

State and Local Advocacy Efforts to Address the Needs of Commercially Sexually Exploited Children

Neha Desai, Staff Attorney, National Center for Youth Law
Elizabeth Leferriere, Policy Advocate, National Center for Youth Law
Kate Walker, Staff Attorney, National Center for Youth Law

Significant progress has been made to assist and serve commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC) since the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000. Join us to learn more about this issue, the recent legislative changes, and NCYL’s work in California at the state and county level to improve the services and supports provided to CSEC.

Thursday, July 14 (12-1 pm)

Litigation Efforts to Ensure Foster Youth Access to Reproductive Health Services: Fresno Group Home Case

Poonam Juneja, Staff Attorney, National Center for Youth Law

Foster youth are especially at risk of sexual coercion, unwanted pregnancies, and contracting sexually transmitted diseases, yet some foster care providers are placing barriers on foster youth’s access to reproductive and sexual health services.  Learn about NCYL’s current litigation aimed at ensuring youth have access to these needed services.

Thursday, July 21 (12-1 pm)

Let’s Talk About Race

Michael Harris, Senior Attorney, National Center for Youth Law

Race predicts the outcomes of young people touched by all of the public systems NCYL’s work engages (Child Welfare, Mental Health, Education, and Juvenile Justice). Why is our perception of another’s “race” so influential on our behavior? We will talk in depth about race, and how it impacts the juvenile justice system.

Thursday, July 28 (12-1:30 pm)

Advice on Pursuing a Career in Public Interest Law

John O’Toole, former Executive Director, National Center for Youth Law

John was a distinguished poverty lawyer and child advocate for his entire career, and he continues to be a respected expert on a variety of topics in public interest law. Come hear his words of advice for the next generation of public interest lawyers, and learn what to do in law school to prepare for a public interest career.

Thursday, August 4 (12-1 pm)

What’s the Prefrontal Cortex Got to Do With It? Understanding the Teen Brain to Improve Advocacy

Rebecca Gudeman, Senior Attorney, National Center for Youth Law
Hannah Benton, Staff Attorney, National Center for Youth Law

As advocates, how can we argue both that our teen clients should have autonomy in reproductive health decisions and that they are less culpable than adults for their mistakes, particularly mistakes that result in arrest?  Learn about current neuroscience research around adolescent brain development, its implications for teenage decision-making skills and how to use this research to better advocate for teen clients.

All sessions will be held at National Center for Youth Law on the 16th Floor. NCYL is located at 405 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612 (corner of 14th and Franklin) — just one block from the 12th Street Oakland City Center BART Station.

Please feel free to bring your lunch. Email Cynthia Perla,, with questions.