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FAQs


                                              PRO BONO PRACTICING ATTORNEY

1)  WHAT IS TEEN COURT?

The Teen Court Program of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit provides meaningful and constructive alternatives to the formal prosecution of young offenders who have accepted responsibility for their offense(s).  This diversion program provides specific and immediate sanctions and services to youth. Teen Court is the ­only juvenile proceeding where criminal cases are considered by teens.  The offender’s sanctions are decided by a Teen Court jury.

2)  WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE PRO BONO ATTORNEY VOLUNTEER?

Pro bono attorneys participate in the role of the TEEN COURT JUDGE.  Your participation is an important part of the program’s overall success.  The Teen Court Judge is a role model in the mentorship to middle and high school student volunteers.    Another responsibility as a Teen Court Judge is to maintain the decorum of the courtroom.  You will be provided a Teen Court Judges’ Manual outlining the “Grand Jury” and “Trial” formats.

3)  WHO MAY VOLUNTEER FOR TEEN COURT?

Any practicing attorney who is available on Tuesday evenings may volunteer.

4)  HOW DO I VOLUNTEER FOR TEEN COURT?

Contact Pamela Stokes, Teen Court Coordinator:  stokespl@fljud13.org or 813-272-5953 to schedule.  All interested pro bono attorneys are required to observe one Teen Court evening prior to participation.  After scheduling, please call the Teen Court recorded message line (813-272-6177) to verify there are no cancellations. 

5)  WHAT IS THE DRESS CODE FOR TEEN COURT?

Professional court attire is required as a Teen Court Judge. 

6) WHEN AND WHERE IS TEEN COURT?

Teen Court is held on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 pm to approximately 8:00 pm in the Annex Courthouse, 401 North Jefferson Street, Tampa, Florida 33602 on the 2nd floor.  Teen Court hearings are held in various courtrooms on the 2nd floor.

7)  WHY JOIN TEEN COURT AS A VOLUNTEER?

Earn pro bono hours each evening.  Experience mentorship opportunities provided to the middle and high school student volunteers each evening by enhancing their self confidence in communication, public speaking and leadership skills.  Participate in the students’ continuous defense and prosecution attorney training while they explore career opportunities in the legal profession. 

8)  WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF TEEN COURT?

The principal goal of Teen Court is to hold young offenders accountable, by a jury of their peers, for their behavior.  Jurors will impose sanctions that aim to repair some of the harm imposed on the victim and community, there by reducing repeat offending.


                                               PRO BONO LAW SCHOOL STUDENTS

 

1)  WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE PRO BONO LAW SCHOOL STUDENT VOLUNTEER?

Law school students assist Mr. Troy Lovell, Florida Bar Counsel and contract attorney for Teen Court, in training our middle and high school student volunteers for their roles as defense and prosecution attorneys in trials each Teen Court evening. 

2)  WHO MAY VOLUNTEER FOR TEEN COURT?

Any law school student may volunteer who is available on Tuesday evenings and has been cleared on their background check.

3)  HOW DO I VOLUNTEER FOR TEEN COURT?

Complete the required application documents found in the Forms Section: JDP Adult Application,Confidentiality Form and Background Check Form. Forward these signed documents, along with a copy of your social security and driver’s license cards, to Pamela Stokes, Teen Court Coordinator:  stokespl@fljud13.org.  All law school students are required to observe one Teen Court evening prior to participation.  You may schedule and observe this session prior to your background clearance.  To schedule, please contact Pamela Stokes:  stokespl@fljud13.org or 813-272-5953.  Please call the Teen Court recorded message line (813-272-6177) on Tuesdays to verify there are no cancellations.