They should listen to you and take you seriously.
In order that a solicitor can do the best job for a young person, it is essential that they listen and understand you. They should talk you using simple language and ask questions in a clear way in order to obtain the information from you that they will need.
They work for you – they are on your side.
It is really important to understand that a solicitor works for the client. In the youth court that is a young person and it is the solicitor’s job is to facilitate communication between the young person and the court, and defend and protect the client.
They should be honest & truthful
A solicitor is not doing his job if they tell you what they think you want to hear, they must be honest with you. If you ask a question, you want a straight, simple and honest answer. Ultimately they are there to represent you, but if what you tell them doesn’t add up, they should also explain that to you.
What you tell them is confidential
What you discuss with your solicitor is private and can only be revealed in very limited circumstances where, for example, either you or somebody else is in serious danger or if you agree. You should feel sure that what you tell your solicitor is confidential and they won’t go and discuss what you have told them with somebody else.
They know their stuff
The Youth Court is very different from other courts. A solicitor should be able to explain and advise you without using confusing words, and break up any complicated issues into smaller chunks so that you understand.
There are different laws and punishments available to those in other adult courts and there are measures available that can be used for a young person to participate in a court hearing should they want to, and there are a range of options to divert young person’s away from courts
It is really important that your solicitor is knowledgeable and has experience of appearing in these courts in order for you to get the best possible advice and outcome.
Rob Moussalli, Burton Copeland
Rob is a specialist youth court solicitor with over 25 years’ experience in representing young persons at Youth Courts throughout the Northwest and is head of Youth Court Department at Burton Copeland. To read more about Rob and the work that he does, you can see his profile here.