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Adolescents And Attorneys: A Case Study

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The relationship between juveniles and their attorneys is one that has not been researched thoroughly. However, this relationship is absolutely imperative in regards to the outcome of legal situations for juveniles. While attorneys are there to represent their clients, they cannot adequately do their jobs without the help of their clients. Furthermore, it is in the client’s best interest to actively play a role in their own legal proceedings, especially when the outcome could drastically impact their life. The competence of the defendant is at the root of this relationship. The level of competency required in various steps in the legal system is very low. No one is required to have an extensive knowledge of the legal system. According to…show more content…
Adolescents are in a process of development where their identity is being shaped and formed. One’s environment and those in it can drastically alter a child’s perception of their own self, as well as the world around them. The issue of trust is one that can have a huge impact on the juvenile/attorney relationship. The readings mentioned how delinquent youth are less likely to trust authority figures than their non delinquent counterparts. As such, this can make it difficult for juvenile’s to trust, be honest, and work with their attorney. As we have discussed in class previously, cognitive immaturity greatly impacts juveniles in the court system. The readings made an interesting argument in this area. Since age has a direct correlation with competence, the younger one is, the less likely they will be able to fully understand and appreciate the legal system and its procedures, juveniles may not understand the roles that attorneys must follow. Therefore, this may lead to distrust in their attorney. Furthermore, juveniles are often assigned to attorneys that are less skilled or are overworked, which can also lead to distrust in their aide. Another aspect of one of the readings which I found fascinating was the result of race, IQ, and trust. Those of caucasian descent with a lower IQ were less trusting of their attorneys than their counterparts with a higher IQ. On the flip side, black individuals in the study with a lower IQ were more trusting of their attorneys than their counterparts with a higher IQ. I thought this was absolutely fascinating. However, I do not know why this finding occurred, nor do I know how to use this information to better trust between attorneys and
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