Assist with running a youth traffic court working in collaboration with Seattle Municipal Court judges and magistrates, Garfield High School students, and Seattle Police.
Position: Seattle Youth Traffic Court
Open to: All law students
Time Commitment: Students must commit to approximately two to four hours per week, with monthly hearings, monthly high school training and once or twice-monthly law student mentor meetings, all held on Monday afternoons.
Location: Law School and Seattle Municipal Court
Application Process: Email a letter of interest to the contact below.
Application Deadline: Rolling basis
Contact: Margaret Fisher, Distinguished Practitioner in Residence and Director of Youth Court to apply by emailing her at email@example.com.
What is the Seattle Youth Traffic Court?
- Seattle Youth Traffic Court (youth court) is the first youth court to be offered in Seattle.
- Youth Court is a diversion process in which youth from Garfield High School sentence their peers who have received actual traffic tickets in Seattle.
- Youth under the age of 18 without prior traffic violations are offered the opportunity to be sentenced by the youth court.
- Operating under restorative justice principles, Garfield High School students conduct monthly hearings and sentence their peers using creative sentencing.
- Youth completing their sentences have their tickets dismissed, no fine is paid, and no reports are made to the Department of Licensing.
- It received the 2012 Seattle Youth Civic Education Award from the Seattle CityClub.
How Does the Seattle Youth Traffic Court Work?
- Garfield students serve as judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, jury, and court staff.
- The court conducts up to eight hearings once per month in two courtrooms at the Seattle Municipal Court.
- Dispositions generally include service on future youth court juries.
- The Garfield defense attorney then mentors the defendant to ensure completion of the disposition.
- SU law students develop policies, provide training, help the Garfield students prepare cases, manage the cases, and help with the hearings.
Why Should Law Students Get Involved?
- Learn extensive legal content about civil procedure and traffic-related laws.
- Develop leadership skills through program management and youth mentorship.
- Get experience collaborating with many different partners including youth, teachers, judges, and police.
- Hone legal skills by managing court processes.
- Develop grant-writing, systems creation, and policy making skills.
What Kind of Commitment Do Law Students Need to make to Be Involved?
- Students must commit to approximately two to four hours per week, with hearings, trainings and mentor meetings to be held at a regular time and day on Mondays.
- Hearings occur once monthly on the third or fourth Monday of the month.
- Trainings occur the first or second Monday of the month.
- Additionally, the law student mentors meet every other week or once monthly on Mondays.
- Food is served at all sessions.