Teen Court Volunteers


Youth Volunteers

To learn more about what it takes to be a Teen Court volunteer, take a look at our Volunteer Recruitment Packet. If you are 13 or older and interested in volunteering with Teen Court, click here for more information. Attorney training sessions are generally held every 3-4 months.

Teen Court

Adult Volunteers

Jeff Nieman has served as a Teen Court judge for almost ten years. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mr. Nieman went on to get his Juris Doctor at North Carolina Central University School of Law. Currently, Mr. Nieman serves as an Assistant District Attorney for District 15B (Orange and Chatham County) under Jim Woodall. As a native of Orange County, Mr. Nieman understands the struggles that youth in Orange County face and urges them to use Teen Court as an opportunity to evaluate their lives and correct their mistakes, before heading towards a life of crime. In his free time, Mr. Nieman serves a Youth Group volunteer at his church, coaches a running group and is the captain of his soccer team.

Teen Court is excited to welcome our newest judge, Hathaway Pendergrass!  Like Mr. Nieman, Mr. Pendergrass is an Orange County native who completed his undergraduate degree the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and obtained his Juris Doctor from North Carolina Central University School of Law. After graduating fifth in his class from law school, Mr. Pendergrass joined local law firm, Epting and Hackney where he practices both criminal and civil law. Mr. Pendergrass has a experience working with the Attorney General’s office, the District Attorneys’ offices in both Orange and Wake counties and Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour. Currently, Mr. Pendergrass is on the Board of Directors for the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, is a volunteer attorney for the Carrboro Farmers’ Market and serves as the vice-president of the Orange County Bar Association.

Skye MacLeod first served as a volunteer with the North Carolina Teen Court programs in 2007, when she served as Teen Court Judge for the Durham County Teen Court program.  In 2010, Mrs. MacLeod joined the Volunteers for Youth Board and began volunteering for the Orange County Teen Court program.  As a volunteer, she has served as Teen Court judge, jury monitor, attorney training coach and teen attorney adviser.  Mrs. MacLeod has a strong sense of community and believes that developing a sound community starts with improving the lives of the children that live here in Orange County.  Ms. MacLeod currently serves as Volunteers for Youth’s Board President and is a civil litigator with the Law Offices of Stephen R. Paul.

Michael Paduchowski is a criminal defense attorney who served as one of our two resident Teen Court judges from 2009-2014 and currently is one of our reserve judges. Mr. Paduchowski earned his BA in Business Administration from UNC’s Kenan Flagler Business School and his Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina School of Law. At Matthew Charles Law, Mr. Paduchowski and his law partner Matthew Suczynski represent clients in Felony, Misdemeanor, DWI, Traffic, and Personal Injury matters in the triangle and surrounding areas. Mr. Paduchowski is an AV rated attorney by Martindale Hubbell and a Superb rated attorney by avvo.com, both the highest ratings available for any attorney. Mr. Paduchowski is a lifelong member of the Order of Barristers and Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He gives back to the community by volunteering his time through the NC Drivers License Restoration Project, and coaching youth sports.

Will Hendrick began volunteering with Orange County Teen Court while he was a student at the University of North Carolina School of Law. Like Mr. Paduchowski, Mr. Hendrick also interned at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office while attending UNC Law School. Mr. Hendrick is currently an associate attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Sergeant Tina Sykes is a Juvenile Investigator and supervisor of the School Resource Officer Program with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. As a Juvenile Investigator, Sergeant Sykes investigates child abuse, undisciplined and delinquent juveniles, and sexual assaults, among other crimes. Sergeant Sykes has been with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department since 2002, and with investigations since 2004. Sergeant Sykes volunteers as a Teen Court courtroom monitor.

Investigator André Richmond monitors the Teen Court courtroom in addition to advising defendants as to possible sentences if they were prosecuted in traditional court as opposed to Teen Court. After 14 years as the School Resource Officer at his alma-mater, Orange High School, Investigator Richmond was promoted to Juvenile and Special Victims Investigator. In 2013, Corporal Richmond was given the well-deserved honor of “Orange County Sheriff Employee of the Year.” Inv. Richmond is an avid golfer, serves on the Board for the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce and is a Mason.

Law Student Volunteers

UNC Law Students assist teen attorneys with trial preparation and serve as jury monitors. The law students also play a vital role in facilitating attorney trainings. If you would like to learn more about becoming a law student volunteer please contact Kaitlin Nucci, Mark Taylor or Jake Edwards.  More information can also be found here.

For more information, please contact the program coordinator:
Kate Giduzkate@volunteersforyouth.org