Youth Advocacy Project

YAP (Youth Advocacy Project) SLP Logo

Students will work as advocates to support youth who are participating in the Youth Early Intervention Program (YEIP) in the Fall and youth who are incarcerated at Contra Costa County’s juvenile hall in the Spring.

Under the supervision of the Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office, students will work as advocates to support justice-involved youth who are at different stages in the criminal legal process. 

In the Fall semester, students will work with the Youth Early Intervention Program (YEIP) to mentor youth following police interaction and offer support navigating the youth criminal legal system under the supervision of a youth public defender. Students will meet with their clients weekly and attend bi-weekly SLP meetings, including hands-on training experiences and speaker presentations from professionals in the youth advocacy space. Students may also have the opportunity to observe court or school disciplinary proceedings to increase their understanding of the youth criminal legal system. 

In the Spring semester, students will work with youth incarcerated at juvenile hall to support the public defenders who represent these clients in court. As a member of the defense team, students will work one-on-one, or with a fellow Berkeley student, with a client to help prepare them for re-entry. Students will meet with clients while in custody. Students can expect to familiarize themselves with their client’s case file, develop client interviewing skills, develop relationships with juvenile clients, and serve as a liaison between their client and the public defender’s office. Students may meet with clients over zoom or alternate between in-person and remote visits. Most importantly, students will have an opportunity to improve the lives of their clients.

Supervision: Students will provide services to clients through YAP under the supervision of attorneys at the Contra Costa County Office of the Public Defender. 

Time Commitment: Approx. 20 hours each semester to include a bi-weekly Monday meeting during lunch and weekly meetings with clients.

For more information, please contact the student leaders at