University of Houston Law Center hosts juvenile justice symposium

Annual ‘Zealous Advocacy Conference’ teaches defenders a holistic approach to helping youths caught in the system.


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May 15, 2014 – The 13th annual Zealous Advocacy Conference at the University of Houston Law Center begins today with a broad range of juvenile justice advocates, professors, and jurists participating in the premier professional development training seminar for juvenile public defense attorneys in the southwestern United States.

The two-day CLE conference is sponsored by the Center for Children, Law & Policy and the Southwest Juvenile Defender Center, both based at the Law Center.

“Our Zealous Advocacy conference is geared to helping attorneys who represent children in delinquency court become stronger and better advocates for their clients,” said UHLC Professor Ellen Marrus, director of the Center. “Studies show that when children are in court with an attorney who represents their expressed interests and advocates on their behalf, better outcomes are produced. Children are less likely to reoffend or be caught up in the system because they behaved like a normal adolescent.

“The emphasis for this conference is to provide additional tools for attorneys to provide holistic representation and to be able to respond to matters that fall outside of delinquency court such as immigration, school misdemeanors, linguistic and developmental differences, employment issues, benefits, and housing,” said Marrus, the George Butler Research Professor of Law.

Speakers include the Hon. Michael Schneider, presiding judge of the 315th District Court;the Hon. Angela Ellis, associate judge of the 315th District Juvenile Court; Marrus and Professors Jill Campbell and Susham Modi of the Law Center; Bart Lubow,director of the Annie E. Casey Foundation JDAI Project; Sarah Guidry,executive director of the Earl Carl Institute at Texas Southern University; and several juvenile advocates and public defenders from across the country.

Attendees will receive 14 hours of CLE credit, including 2.25 hours of ethics credit. The registration fee is $200; complimentary for UHLC students; and $50 for J.D. and LL.M. students attending other law schools.

For further information, email

Media Contacts: Carrie Criado, UH Law Center Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184,; John T. Kling, UH Law Center Communications Manager, 713- 743-8298,; or Stephen B. Jablonski, Media Specialist, 713-743- 1634,

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 39,500 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.

About the University of Houston Law Center

The University of Houston Law Center is the leading law school in the nation's fourth-largest city. Founded in 1947, it is a top-tier institution awarding Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees. The Law Center is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

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