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Teen Court College Essay
My palms were sweaty; I was clutching my case sheets hard as if they
were going to keep my wobbly knees from buckling. In a few minutes, I was
about to present my first case as a defense attorney at our local teen court,
which is a community intervention program for providing an alternate justice
system for first-time juvenile crimes. Glancing at my young client did not
make me feel any better. The smell of weed emanated from him. He was
dressed far too casually for a defendant he was wearing sweatpants and a
hoodie, and clearly inebriated. At only 14 years old, he towered over me, but
thin and shriveled with sunken eyes. He clearly did not remember our phone
conversation earlier about the court dress etiquettes. His parent, or legal
guardian I presume, was no better her hair was a mess, and her clothes
mimicked that of the retro hippie.
I realized I covertly wished to be on the prosecution side of things;
nevertheless, I certainly did risk my first case by willingly choosing to
represent him, to defend his misconduct and appropriate a lighter sanction
for him than the prosecution. Going through teen court, the defendant must

admit guilt. I glanced at the witless teenager, who had just had a thrill ride
through puberty, with a twinge of remorse. He was just a miscreant, not a
criminal, I wanted to help him, but he was a tough case!
My opening remarks were solid, and I thought I was going to win the
case with my cohesive closing argument until, the respondent rose to
provide his testimony. His incoherent grunts were not appealing, and the jury
ended up imposing an even harsher sentence than the one that both the
prosecution and I have recommended. I had lost my first case in court.
It occurred to me that people who lead an awry life generally cannot
glean the goal of life, and without this, they glide away into hellish descent
leading to such results. The following week, knowing that he had over sixty
hours of service to complete in three months, for the case would go on his
permanent record, I decided to reach out to him. A callous voice answered,
his mother I presumed. Could I please speak with Mr? I inquired. There
was some grunting and some cacophony before he answered. Have you had
any luck finding somewhere to volunteer? I asked. No. he responded
sounding more coherent than the last two times I had encountered him. Fruit
of distress I suppose. Do you need any help? I have a few placesSure.
he intercepted without further deliberation, as though he was waiting for this
He shadowed me in the TEDx meetings I was holding weekly, and
volunteered with me in places that I thought would most benefit him.

Discovering that yoga was just as potent as drugs, apprehending the gifts of
youth by serving the elderly, socializing with highly motivated people, or just
being in a positive environment served him well.
I spent some time giving him tuition on the subjects he needed help in,
encouraged him to eat healthy, and exercise. He cannot change his family,
but he has changed his life where he can. I see the world with a different set
of eyes now, he told me the day he got a B in his math class for the first
time. Those sunken eyes have brightened, shriveled shoulders have
straightened, his life has turned for the better, and I had finally won my case!
I had worked on several cases since then, had tried to make a positive
influence where I can, but this first case constantly reminds me that in the
race of life, hurdles are inevitable, but hitting hurdles does not necessarily
mean that you lose the race. It just means that you have to try harder and
run faster.