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Recap: National Juvenile Defender Center Leadership Summit, October 24-26, Louisville, KY

Last week I had the privilege of attending the 2014 NJDC Leadership Summit.  It was the 18th such gathering, bringing together over 400  juvenile defenders from all over the country.  Veteran and aspiring defenders alike assemble to meet, reconnect, and recharge in our unique community. The Summit is split into plenary sessions on new and innovative juvenile delinquency topics, and workshops honing courtroom and other skills. Of the plenary sessions, the most interesting to me discussed the next phase in applying developmental arguments to juvenile clients, led by adolescent experts Dr. Laurence Steinberg ( and Dr. Antoinette Kavanaugh ( and Professor Hector Linares, director of the Juvenile Defense Clinic at LSU Law ( The workshops were varied and informative.  I attended programs on strategies to deal with high profile cases, driving system reform through policy advocacy, immigration issues, and procedural justice.  One of the highlights of the Summit was caucusing with defenders from all over the south, exchanging ideas and strategies.  For more information about the Summit, see



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