WHAT IS JUVENILE DEFENSE 101?
Whether it's charging, sentencing, or collateral consequences, South Carolina's Juvenile Justice System differs significantly from the adult system. Juvenile Defense 101: Fundamentals of Juvenile Defense provides an introduction to the juvenile defense process for South Carolina Public Defenders and Indigent Defense Contract Attorneys representing juvenile defendants. It should also be valuable for attorneys of all experience levels, who are not familiar with juvenile court procedures, how representing juvenile clients differs from representing adult clients, and how failure to understand those differences can impact clients.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
REQUIRED - All Juvenile Defense Public Defenders and Criminal Contract Indigent Defense Contract Attorneys who have not previously attended Juvenile Defense 101
RECOMMENDED - All public defenders who have not previously attended Juvenile Defense 101
Notice: This Workshop is open only to:
1. South Carolina public defenders who are either employed in a circuit public defender office or contracted directly with a circuit public defender office
2. Indigent Defense Contract Attorneys who handle criminal cases as part of their contract.
Dr. Aleksandra Chauhan is a Visting Assistant Professor at the Jospeh F. Rice School of Law. She directs the Criminal Practice Clinic where second- and third-year law students represent clients on criminal charges, provide parole representation and assist clients with elimination of barriers to successful reentry.
Before joining the faculty at the law school, Dr. Chauhan was the Juvenile Defender Advocate at the South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense, a position she was instrumental in creating. There she supported the work of public defenders and other lawyers in representing youth in the state’s courts. Before then, she was an assistant public defender in Richland County representing youth in the family and criminal courts. While there, she received grants and pioneered the agency’s youth reentry program, providing holistic representation of young people with the assistance of civil counsel and a social worker to aid young people in returning to their communities.
Dr. Chauhan is a certified trainer for the Gault Center’s Youth Defender Advocacy Training Immersion Program, and is one of its Ambassadors for Racial Justice, a program in partnership with the Georgetown Law Juvenile Justice Initiative commissioning lawyers to create training and programming to reduce race disparities in the criminal system. In 2019, Dr. Chauhan graduated from SC BAR Leadership Academy and in 2017, she was recognized as a Juvenile Public Defender of the Year. In May 2023, Dr. Chauhan was recognized by the American Bar Association for her work with youth in the state’s courts, when she received its Livingston Hall Award, which recognizes lawyers who have made significant contributions in that field.
Dr. Chauhan has a wide range of expertise on issues related to client representation, including topics of youth transfer to adult court, school-to-prison pipeline, reentry, trauma, and racial justice. She has written amicus briefs and presented keynotes and workshops on these issues at local, national, and international conferences.
Dr. Chauhan is on the Board of Directors for Every Black Girl, Inc. and Lawyers’ Committee on Children’s Right. She serves on the Advisory Counsel for the Gault Center South and the Advisory Board for the State Crisis Intervention Program. She chairs the Legal Innovations Subcommittee for the SC Human Trafficking Task Force and is a member of the SC Bar House of Delegates. She also served on the Board of Directors for Columbia’s Nickelodeon Theater, and helped create East Point Academy, a Mandarin immersion charter school where her twin sons attended.
Samantha M. Luck, Esq.
Ms. Luck is a Juvenile Defender Advocate with the South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense (SCCID). Prior to joining the SCCID, she served as a staff attorney at the SC Human Affairs Commission. Ms. Luck worked for nearly six years as a Juvenile Public Defender for both Richland and Lexington Counties where she became well-versed in the area of juvenile defense and advocacy. In addition to her work as a juvenile defender, she was as an attorney for Richland County Court Appointed Special (CASA), representing court-appointed Guardian ad Litems for children in the foster care system. Having started out her legal career as a youth advocate, Ms. Luck also has extensive knowledge in the area of special education law and worked at Disability Rights South Carolina (formerly Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc.) for several years. There, she represented students with disabilities in public primary and secondary education, ensuring the protection and enforcement of students’ rights under the IDEA, Section 504, and the ADA.
Ms. Luck obtained both her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and J.D. from the University of South Carolina. During law school, she clerked in the family court division for the Richland County Public Defender Office and during that time, also became a court-appointed Guardian ad Litem. She is a Certified Juvenile Training Immersion Program (JTIP) Trainer and was a participant in the 2017 JTIP Summer Academy. Throughout her legal career, Ms. Luck has been a strong advocate for youth in S.C. and believes wholeheartedly in fighting for the rights of children. She believes that by investing in community services and programs aimed at addressing the needs of youth, rather than incarceration, youth will have greater success at rehabilitation and better future outcomes.
Ms. Luck serves on the Board of Directors for Roses in Concrete South Carolina and is a member of the J.T. Farmer Advisory Board for the Law Offices of S. Chris Davis.
Catherine (Callie) West, Esq.
Assistant Public Defender, Eighth Judicial Circuit
Catherine “Callie” West currently works in the 8th Judicial Circuit Public Defender's Office defending both youth and adults charged with crimes in Laurens County. Callie graduated from University of South Carolina in 2016 with a Juris Doctor and Masters in Social Work. While completing her degree, Callie developed a passion for juvenile justice through her internships with The Children’s Law Center, Department of Juvenile Justice and the Richland County Public Defender’s Office. After graduating law school, she clerked for The Honorable Donald B. Hocker of the 8th Judicial Circuit. Since beginning her work with the public defender office in 2017, Callie has received the SC Juvenile Public Defender of the Year award (2018), has become a certified Juvenile Defense Trainer through the National Juvenile Defender Center (2021) and for the past three years served as the supervising Youth Defender for the 8th circuit. When not defending kids in court, Callie enjoys spending time with her lively boy-filled family which includes her husband Jordan, sons Preston and Marshall, dog named Winston and a hamster - named Picklecheese.