Free - Representing Child Clients: Practical Skills Training for Lawyers

24 Feb 2024 10:00 to 17:00

As lawyers we spend many years training to know and understand the law- great - that is what lawyers need to know! What there is less focus on is how to work with clients, particularly child clients.

This practical skills training will teach you how to use a template covering all the steps necessary when explaining a legal case to a child client. Hone these skills and come away with a practical plan to help you in your future work. Explaining your area of law, is your expertise. Our tools help you develop a methodical way to explain the process, timeframes, actors and possible outcomes in a way that is understandable to child. This helps manage expectations, increases understanding and enables fuller participation. Although it is designed with a child client in mind it is also an extremely useful tool for explaining a case to any lay client.

In addition to the practical work, this training will cover the following areas of Youth Justice law:

  1. Updates in youth justice law and guidance
  2. Identifying and handling any additional needs, experts and making adjustments for those needs, including instructing intermediaries, speech and language therapists and visual aids.
  3. Child welfare in the context of criminal courts.
  4. A detailed understanding of the Youth Justice Board’s ‘Child First’ approach for bail packages and presentence reports.
  5. Changes to youth sentencing (YRO with ISS, location monitoring and trail monitoring)
  6. Out of Court Disposals, pursuing diversion and local context.

Lead trainer

YJLC director Shauneen Lambe is a barrister in England and Wales and an attorney in the USA. She is former joint chief executive officer of Just for Kids Law (2005-2018) and co-authored Youth Justice Law and Practice (LAG, 2019). In 2022, Shauneen began coordinating the Child Law Network, a group of legal NGOs from across the UK, with the aim of it being a leading source of legal expertise and leadership in respect of the law as it relates to children and lawyers for children. Prior to working in the UK, Shauneen worked at the Louisiana Crisis Assistance Center representing those facing the death penalty and helped Clive Stafford Smith set up his NGO - Reprieve

The Bar Standards Board requires barristers representing children to have the specialist skills, knowledge and attributes necessary to work effectively with vulnerable children and young people. This unique training gives you access to unparalleled expertise and the unusual opportunity to get honest feedback directly from kids themselves.

Improve your knowledge and skills and join a growing community of the most competent youth justice practitioners.

“The YJLC training should be compulsory. It is brilliant and I’d recommend that every pupil/ junior barrister does this training. It can be daunting stepping foot in the youth courts, to represent a vulnerable young person and this training gives you the confidence to represent these people in the best way.” - Alexandra Wilson, barrister and founder of Black Women In Law

“Having young people delivering training was very valuable, particularly to be given honest feedback and moving away from actors” – Pupil barrister

“The presentations were really useful and so were the materials” – Solicitor

The Ministry of Justice is funding this training as part of its commitment to encourage greater uptake of youth specific training for legal practitioners working with children. This kind of training, combined with increases in remuneration for youth court work, recognise the complexity and seriousness of working with child clients and the need for experienced legal practitioners who can provide high quality legal advice.

The Youth Justice Legal Centre (YJLC) is the centre of excellence on youth justice law in England and Wales. We share knowledge and circulate innovation to ensure improved outcomes for children in the criminal justice system.

Delivered in-person by leading expert youth justice lawyers in collaboration with children and young people, this training is essential for all lawyers representing children in the youth court and the Crown Court.

Venue: Gray's Inn

Time: 10am to 4pm