Children’s Defense Team

The Children’s Defense Team serves as court appointedattorneys for children between the ages of 6 and 16 who are alleged to be delinquent in Mecklenburg County. The Team also represents children who have been placed in a psychiatric hospital or treatment facility due to mental health issues.

What We Do

The work of the Children’s Defense Team focuses on three main goals:

1) to protect the constitutional rights of child clients;

2) to provide holistic representation to children accused of delinquent acts or hospitalized in local mental health facilities; and

3) to increase the quality of representation and understanding of Juvenile Law and children’s rights in our community.

We are committed to the highest quality legal representation for our child-clients.  We take a comprehensive approach to this work by investigating all allegations and defenses, reviewing records and social history information to better understand our clients, and work with internal and external partners to address all of a child’s needs.

To improve the systems in which our children encounter, we both attend and facilitate local, regional, and national trainings to increase juvenile justice needs and issues in the larger community, provide professional development for our staff, and participate in systems reform initiatives.

Our team is composed of a Director, several delinquency attorneys, a mental health attorney, a social worker, an investigator and a program assistant.

 Juvenile Defense cases are by court appointment only. 


A limited number of internships are accepted each year for the Children’s Defense Team. Information on opportunities and application process is available at the Internship page.

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