Last Day of Conference Begins with Frankie Guzman’s Story

photo courtesy of:

Frankie Guzman, a Soros Fellow at the National Center for Youth Law, starts off this morning’s session with his life story of overcoming years in juvenile prison in California and later attending Berkeley and UCLA Law.  Most striking to me was the disparity in armed robbery sentences that he received as a Hispanic man (15 years) and two white women he knew (2 weeks).  Even as experienced juvenile defenders it is good to have a reminder of the potential of our young clients.  How many other young offenders could grow up to become lawyers or doctors or social workers or whatever they desire, if only given a second (or third) chance?

Later today we will hear from Professor Joseph Tulman from the University of the District of Columbia about advocating for young client’s special education needs.

At lunch Mayor Annise Parker, the mayor of Houston, will be addressing conference attendees.  So many exciting sessions this afternoon!