Wendy Kaplan began her career at Boston University School of Law in the Criminal Justice Clinic in 1977, and became a clinical associate professor in 1988. Her primary clinical work involves the education, training and case supervision of third-year law students who represent defendants in criminal and delinquency trials. Her clinical teaching examines criminal law, criminal procedure, professional responsibility and trial advocacy. “In the Clinic, student defenders build upon the legal knowledge they’ve acquired in traditional courses and apply that learning to the development of a defense strategy in each of their cases,” she explains.
Many of the clients that Professor Kaplan’s students defend are juveniles, and this experience, she says, gives students important insight into the sociological issues affecting youthful offenders in the criminal justice system. “Students learn to appreciate how school and family issues affect juvenile cases, and they learn about the many responsibilities that accompany client representation.”
Professor Kaplan’s interest in juvenile justice has led her to teach a seminar on juvenile delinquency that explores the historical and legal foundations for our juvenile system. Students investigate policy changes regarding the treatment of delinquent children that have evolved since the establishment of the first juvenile court.
Professor Kaplan is a member of the Disproportionate Minority Contact subcommittee of the state's Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee and of the MBA's Criminal Justice section, where she serves on the Juvenile Justice Practice Group. She is a member of the Board of Directors of both Suffolk Lawyers for Justice, Inc., a non-profit organization providing legal services to indigent criminal defendants, and Children’s Legal Services, Inc. Professor Kaplan is also a faculty member for the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education and the Committee for Public Counsel Services’ zealous advocacy training program.