Teen Court Volunteers
Volunteering for Teen Court is a fun and great way to serve your community. Teens and adults work together to provide defendants the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions, while learning about the justice system. Teen volunteers learn public speaking skills, interviewing techniques and administrative skills.
At this time, teen volunteers arrive by 5:00 p.m. to sign-in and proceed to assigned volunteer duties. Teen Court sessions are held once a month on Monday evenings. Participation in at least one session per quarter is required to remain on active status. Volunteers' service hours are recorded by the Teen Court staff and can be used to fulfill requirements for programs such as National Honor Society or International Baccalaureate.
Training is a crucial element to the success of the HEB Teen Court Program. Local attorneys and the Teen Court Coordinator combine their time and talents to provide all teen volunteers with thorough training. Training sessions are scheduled throughout the year to enable all volunteer teens to attend at least 1 session per year. Volunteers receive an orientation, which includes volunteer standards, Teen Court procedures and overall expectations.
The volunteer then attends two Teen Court sessions to observe the various volunteer roles. This is followed by a formal training session which covers court proceedings, legal terminology and proper courtroom protocol. Teen volunteers then have the opportunity to practice the skills they have learned during mock trials. Volunteers are provided instructional materials and an official HEB Teen Court shirt.
Teen Volunteer Roles
Teens, ages 13 to 18, serve as the attorneys, bailiffs, and clerks. Teens, 15 years of age and older, are trained to defend and prosecute cases in Teen Court.
Adult Volunteer Roles
Adults assist during court sessions in the roles of jury monitors, master jury monitors, and judges.
Licensed attorneys serve as judges. The judge's responsibility is to ensure a fair and impartial trial through proper court procedure. The judge will hear from the defendant and arguments from both the prosecuting and defending attorneys. The judge listens to the "sentence" given to the defendant by a panel of peer jurors. The judge also assists in critiquing the attorneys to further better their knowledge of the entire court procedure along with public speaking.
You are welcome to visit a Teen Court session to observe and find out more about our program! If interested, please download a volunteer application, complete it, and either mail it or drop it off at the Teen Court Office, 2000 Forest Ridge Drive Bedford, Texas 76021. Or email the completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org.