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25 is the New 18: Protecting Emerging Adult Clients

Total Credits
1 - 1.2
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This CLE presentation will share the innovations in Maryland to protect emerging adult clients. The Maryland Office of the Public Defender has begun a pilot project to create a specialized unit representing “emerging adult” clients. Emerging adult clients are 18-25 years old and are over-represented in our criminal legal system and prisons despite the science indicating they are less culpable, more capable of growth and change, and still maturing neurologically.

Recent research shows that the worst racial disparities in the Country exist with the emerging-adult prison population. In response, Maryland intends to develop and spread innovative and cutting-edge strategies for defending this population to foster systemic change.

Lecturer Bio

Jennifer Park, Esq.

Jen Park has twelve years of experience as a skilled litigator with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. She has argued creative motions and had successful trials in every area of the criminal system: misdemeanor, juvenile delinquency, and serious felony. For the last two years, Jen has developed a more focused practice and is now one of the first attorneys in Maryland to engage in the specialized practice of zealously representing Emerging Adults.

She previously served as the Juvenile Division supervisor and District Court Division supervisor in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Jen started with the Prince George’s County Public Defender’s office as a law clerk in 2006. She has worked in the Prince George’s County courthouse ever since, first practicing in the misdemeanor division as a student attorney, then clerking for Judge Lamasney, and finally getting her dream job as an attorney with OPD in 2009. Jen earned her undergrad degree from Syracuse University, a Master's Degree from Ohio State, and her J.D. from George Washington Law School.

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