How do I find a lawyer who specializes in handling juvenile cases?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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You can find a juvenile attorney who specializes in juvenile law through advertisements or by doing research with your state bar, the court, or a non-profit organization, or an online legal directory, such as  Some publish their names in juvenile-related directories. A large number of juvenile attorneys have their own website. A defense attorney who specializes in juvenile law may also have advertisements in the Yellow Pages of the phone book.

Some state bar organizations certify specialists in juvenile law. You can usually find a list of these individuals on the website for your state’s bar. Some state bars have referral services that can help you locate a juvenile attorney; just call and ask for a list of names.

Urban bar associations may also have referral services that can help you locate a juvenile attorney.

Another way to find a juvenile attorney who specializes in juvenile law is to visit juvenile delinquency court. There you will see defense attorneys coming and going. You may want to stop one outside the courtroom to ask about a consultation. Many states will not allow you to go into a juvenile delinquency courtroom to observe proceedings, however. Typically, you must have a direct interest in a juvenile law case that is being heard or the work of the court.

Watching juvenile attorneys in action in a juvenile law case to see whether they are competent is not considered to be the work of the court. Since juvenile delinquency case records are usually not public record, you cannot search the court’s databases to determine which attorneys defended juveniles in the past. You may want to consider visiting the clerk of court, or calling them, to ask which attorneys defend juveniles.

Another way to find a juvenile attorney who specializes in juvenile law is to call a local or regional non-profit center that is concerned about juvenile law and juvenile rights. They may have a list of juvenile attorneys in your area they can recommend. 

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