Christopher Northrop is a leading authority in the area of juvenile law. In 2006, he launched the Juvenile Justice Clinic at Maine Law, under the umbrella of the school’s Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic. Professor Northrop was one of the founders of the New England Juvenile Defender Center. In June 2009, the Center moved its offices to the University of Maine School of Law.
Students enrolled in the Juvenile Justice Clinic are specially licensed by the state and federal courts to provide direct representation to juveniles, under the supervision of Professor Northrop. Students also are involved in ongoing policy work. They have the opportunity to research and contribute to the state, regional and national dialogues around juvenile justice. Professor Northrop’s students frequently partner with national advocacy organizations, state agencies and child focused non-profits to advance their juvenile justice policy objectives. In 2008, Professor Northrop presented on the development of this innovative model at the New England Clinicians Workshop at Harvard Law School and at the Association of American Law Schools Annual Conference on Clinical Education in Tucson, Arizona.
Prior to joining Maine Law, Professor Northrop spent many years in private practice concentrating on juvenile defense work. He has been involved with the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) since its inception, and has served as a consultant for NJDC assessments of statewide juvenile defender systems in a number of states including Louisiana, Ohio, Illinois, Maine, West Virginia and Mississippi. NJDC recognized Professor Northrop in 2013 as one of their first Juvenile Training Immersion Program (JTIP) certified trainers. In the last few years, he has taught JTIP protocols to public defenders throughout the state and around the country.