The Criminal Defense Practicum places law students inside public defender offices throughout Georgia - including the Atlanta, Northern, Northeastern, Piedmont, Stone Mountain, and Western Circuits.  Students perform part-time externships within a selected public defender office under the supervision of one of more staff attorneys.  In both CDP 1 and 2, the externship is coupled with a weekly seminar where a range of issues related to criminal law practice and indigent defense systems are discussed. 

    Criminal Defense Practicum I (JUR 5170S & 5171S) is an introduction to the inner workings of the public defender system and local courts. Students work part-time with a supervising attorney and assist with client and witness interviewing, case investigation, legal research and writing, and courtroom advocacy under the Student Practice Rule. Admission to CDP 1 is through an application and interview process. Enrollment is by permission of the instructor. 4 credits. 

    Criminal Defense Practicum II (JUR 4500S & 4501S) is for students who have previously taken Criminal Defense Practicum I. In CDP II, students continue working in a public defender office and engage in the full range of advocacy implicated in criminal defense. Admission to CDP 2 is through an application process and enrollment is through permission of the instructor. 4, 5, or 6 credits. 

    Criminal Defense Practicum – Summer Semester (JURI 5172E & JURI 5173S) is designed for students who plan to work in a public defender officer and are seeking course credit. Students will arrange their own public defender internship and are required to work a minimum of 20 hours per week. The program is remote and there is no weekly seminar, and so students can work in a public defender office anywhere in the country. There are regular assignments and remote meetings with the instructor throughout the semester.

    There are no prerequisites. CDP – Summer Semester is also available to students who have previously taken CDP 1 or CDP 2. 2, 3, or 4 credits.

    The Criminal Defense Practicum is a part-time public defender externship program designed to expose students to the criminal law and indigent defense systems. Under the supervision of one or more supervising attorneys, students gain practical experience in a range of core legal skills - from client interviewing, case investigation, research and writing, to courtroom advocacy.

    Before the start of the semester, students are asked to complete a planning survey to name their top three preferences for public defender office placements.

    There are no prerequisites for CDP 1, although courses in criminal procedure, evidence, and trial practice are helpful. 

    CDP I is a pre-requisite to CDP II. 

    There are no prerequisites for CDP – Summer Semester. It is also available to students who have previously taken CDP 1 or CDP 2.

    Enrollment in CDP 1 and CDP 2 is through an application process and acceptance is through the instructor's permission only. Neither course is subject to the point system. 
    Please address any questions to Professor Elizabeth C. Taxel.

    Clinic and Externship Application Schedule

    The CDP 1 and CDP 2 seminars are designed to facilitate your learning within your externship; to provide a safe space to discuss your work and the challenges that often arise in indigent defense; to offer opportunities to work through legal issues as a group; to explore your professional identity as a future lawyer; to think critically about our criminal legal system and those that it impacts; and to better understand systemic issues surrounding policing and prosecution.