HOUSTON, April 17, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Advocates in the field of juvenile justice will gather for the 16th annual Zealous Advocacy Conference April 21-22 at the University of Houston Law Center. This year's conference, titled "Gault@50: Quality Representation for Youth," will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case that granted children the right to counsel in delinquency cases.
"The Gault decision gave juveniles the right to counsel and other due process protections," said Ellen Marrus, director of the Center for Children, Law & Policy and George Butler Research Professor of Law at the UH Law Center. "Though I believe we always bring in top notch speakers for the Zealous Advocacy Conference, this year has so many people of national prominence."
Topics discussed on the first day will examine Gault and the right to counsel for juveniles, the effect of Gault on the representations of juveniles in juvenile court, civil rights and juvenile justice and LGBTQ representation and education. There will also be a discussion led by Houston Texans running back Akeem Hunt on the importance of education. It will end with an ethics game.
Students from Marrus' street law class will be taking part in a championship round of a mock trial competition during lunch.
"We chose the Gault case for our Street Law mock trial competition with the intent of having the students compete in the championship round during the conference," Marrus said. "What better way is there for young people to understand the importance of counsel then to experience the difference through a mock trial?"
The second day of the conference will feature discussions that focus on human trafficking, representation of Native-Americans, representation of immigrant youth and will conclude with an ethics panel.
Marrus is one of 19 speakers. Additional speakers include:
- Judge Darlene Byrne '87 of the 126th District Court of Travis County
- Judge Peter Cahill, Hennepin County, Minn.
- Dalia Castillo-Granados, director of the Children's Immigration Law Academy
- Currey Cook, director of the Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project at Lambda Legal
- Judge Angela Ellis, of the 315th District Court of Harris County
- Lauren Fisher supervising attorney at the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights
- Elise Griesmeyer, crime victims supervisor at the Catholic Charities Cabrini Center
- Chris Phillis of the Maricopa County Public Advocate Office
- Amanda Powell, National Juvenile Defender Center
- Lisa Queen, attorney at Maricopa County, Arizona
- Dustin Rynders '06, staff attorney with Disability Rights Texas
- Neena Satija, journalist from the Texas Tribune
- Nadia Seeratan of the National Juvenile Defender Center
- Liz Shields, supervising attorney for pro bono programs at Kids in Need of Defense
- James Simermeyer, assistant director of diversity and public interest at the University of New Mexico School of Law
- Sherri Zack, assistant U.S. attorney from the U.S. Department of Justice
The Zealous Advocacy Conference is an annual training seminar organized by the Center for Children, Law & Policy and the Southwest Juvenile Defender Center. The conference is the premier professional development training for juvenile public defense attorneys practicing in the Southwestern United States.
Attendees will receive 15 hours of CLE credit with three ethics hours. Specialization credit in criminal appellate, criminal law, family law and juvenile law is pending.
Media contacts: Elena Hawthorne, UH Law Center interim Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-1125, email@example.com; John T. Kling, UH Law Center Communications Manager, 713-743-8298, firstname.lastname@example.org; and John Brannen, Senior Writer, 713-743-3055, email@example.com
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 42,700 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.
About the University of Houston Law Center
The University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) is a dynamic, top tier law school located in the nation's 4th largest city. UHLC's Health Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Part-time programs rank in the U.S. News Top 10. It awards Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees, through its academic branch, the College of Law. The Law Center is more than just a law school. It is a powerful hub of intellectual activity with more than 11 centers and institutes which fuel its educational mission and national reputation. UHLC is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.
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SOURCE University of Houston Law Center