Emma Brooks – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- LRHS sophomore Emma Bittar is a volunteer attorney at Manatee County Teen Court. This is a program available to kids ages of 10 -17. The program mimics a real court hearing and all the teenagers are able to act as court clerks, bailiffs, jurors and attorneys.
Teen Court cases involve students who face juvenile charges and have opted for this program over the traditional juvenile justice system.
Bittar has always had a strong interest in the study of law which lead her to join Teen Court. “It gave me the opportunity to practice being an attorney, which is one of the career paths I’m interested in,” she said.
After spending a Saturday learning the basics Bittar was certified.
“To become an attorney, you have to attend one training session that lasts for most of the day,” she said. “After the training you are officially a Teen Court attorney and can choose to either shadow another attorney or start working on your own cases.”
Teen Court volunteers are able to obtain community service hours and opportunities they can’t get anywhere else.
“At Teen Court, you get to meet amazing people who share the same interests as you, while also being able to experience what being an attorney is like,” said Bittar.
“I highly recommend Teen Court to anyone who has an interest in learning how the judicial system operates,” she continued. “I also think it’s important that people see first-hand what is happening in our community and understand the consequences of getting arrested as a juvenile.”