The Capital Assistance Project was initiated in 1998 at the request of the Supreme Court of Georgia. Here, students work at agencies defending individuals charged with or convicted of capital crimes. In the classroom component, students discuss work experiences, examine current issues in capital punishment, and evaluate special problems which confront the attorney defending a capital case.
Course Information & Requirements
In this two-credit course, students work for one of four agencies tasked with representing indigent defendants charged with, or convicted of, capital crimes. Three of the four agencies are located in Atlanta: Georgia Capital Defenders, Atlanta office; the Georgia Resource Center; and the Southern Center for Human Rights. The fourth agency, located in Athens, is Georgia Capital Defenders, Athens office. Work assigned to students varies with the agency but typically includes researching the law, writing memoranda in support of motions or writing portions of appellate briefs, and performing fact investigation. Students assigned to an agency in Atlanta should anticipate traveling to Atlanta on a regular basis although some of the assigned work may be completed in Athens. The course requires that students complete a minimum of 110 hours of work for the agency per semester.
In addition to the agency work, students participate in a one-hour- per-week classroom session in Athens. The class is held at a time arranged at the beginning of each semester. In the classroom session, students learn about capital punishment, discuss work experiences, examine current issues in capital punishment, and evaluate special problems which confront the attorney defending a capital case.
Successful completion of Criminal Law is required to participate in the Project. Completion or concurrent registration in the following courses are useful but not required to participate: Evidence, Criminal Procedure (I or II), Capital Punishment.
How to Apply
This course is not subject to the point allocation system. The course does not count against the law school’s limit on clinical credits. Registration requires permission of the Project Director. Interested students must complete an application and submit it with a current copy of their resume to the Director by the deadline. The student must then meet with the Director. In addition, some of the agencies may interview the student and/or ask for writing samples.
Please note that applications for placements in Atlanta are due no later than the early deadline stated in the Clinic and Externship Application Schedule page. Applications for placements in Athens are due no later than the regular deadline stated on that page.
Unified Application Form (Spring 2020) (Portal login required)
The link below describes the Project in more detail and includes information about an additional placement that is open by special arrangement only.