Published: Oct. 23, 2004

Yesterday, the Juvenile and Family Law Program announced a collaborative project with the Seventeenth Judicial District Truancy Reduction Project. Beginning in January 2005, students will serve as externs for the Truancy Reduction Project, representing school districts in truancy proceedings before the Juvenile Court.

The Truancy Reduction Project is a cooperative effort that involves children, their parents, the Adams County school districts, and the court in an attempt to reduce truancy rates in the public schools within the Seventeenth Judicial District. In their work for the school districts, students will have the opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team of social workers, police officers, school officials, and court representatives.

At the beginning of the externship, students will receive training in truancy proceedings, as well as an overview of the issues facing families and the services available to such families. The Honorable Chris Melonakis has supported the development of the externship and will provide students with an office in the courthouse to meet their clients and attorney supervisors to oversee the cases. The externship is an excellent opportunity for students to learn more about the issues facing children and families, as well as gain practical legal experience in a courtroom before a judge who welcomes their presence.

The Juvenile and Family Law Program is grateful to Judge Melonakis for his support of the externship, and to Assistant Dean Lorenzo Trujillo, who developed the Truancy Reduction Project before joining the faculty at the Colorado School of Law, for conceiving of the collaboration.