UF Law’s Gator TeamChild Juvenile Law Clinic Provides Services to Community
Name and Year: Nicholas Boyle (JD 18)
Hometown: Vero Beach, Florida
Undergraduate Institution: Florida State University
Law School Involvement: Certified Legal Intern with Gator TeamChild Juvenile Clinic
Once I enrolled at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, I knew I wanted to take advantage of any programs that offered the opportunity to gain real-life experiences. With this desire in mind, I signed up to be a Certified Legal Intern with the Gator TeamChild Juvenile Law Clinic. As a Certified Legal Intern with Gator TeamChild, I was given the opportunity to work on cases involving juvenile clients facing both delinquency and dependency matters.
With my prior experience working as a law clerk at a Public Defender’s Office, I was eager to jump right into any available delinquency cases. So, on the second day of the clinic, I volunteered for a case involving a child who was charged with a felony. Little did I know that volunteering for this case would develop into an experience that would shape my future legal career in criminal law.
After speaking with Gator TeamChild’s supervising attorney and wonderful professor, Meshon Rawls, we set up a meeting to have the client come to the clinic’s office at UF Law. The initial interview went well as the client was given the opportunity to tell us his side of the story. In this way, I was given the opportunity to make strategic decisions with the guidance of a licensed practicing attorney. After the initial interview, I began reviewing the discovery. This included dash cam videos, police reports, and written statements from the witness and the victim.
While preparing for trial, I drafted subpoenas to be served upon the witness, police officers, and the victim. At the time, I had not conducted a deposition before. Although I was a bit nervous at first, I became more comfortable and was able to clarify some of the inconsistencies in the case, which afforded us an opportunity to negotiate with the state attorney. Utilizing the skills that I learned and the information that I had gathered throughout the duration of the case, we were successful in convincing the State Attorney to allow the client to plea to a misdemeanor instead of a felony. Having the charge lowered to a misdemeanor was very significant because of the collateral consequences associated with having a felony on one’s record.
When I visited him at his school, I informed him that we were able to negotiate the felony charge down to a misdemeanor charge. He gratefully accepted the plea and thanked me for all of our hard work. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of joy that we were able to keep this young kid from having a felony on his record. Having an impact on a young person’s life of this magnitude was beyond rewarding. I will certainly remember this experience and realize I would not have been able to attain this experience prior to becoming a lawyer without participating in the clinic. If any incoming law students at the University of Florida Levin College of Law have the desire to gain real-life experiences while still in school, signing up to be a Certified Legal Intern at the Gator TeamChild Juvenile Law Clinic is a great opportunity.
If any incoming law students would like to know more about my time at Gator TeamChild, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (772)-633-0498.