Course Information & Requirements
There are no prerequisites. The Clinics are open to all second and third year law students. However, Criminal Defense Clinic I is a pre-requisite to Criminal Defense Clinic II, and only third year students may take Criminal Defense Clinic II. Courses in Criminal Procedure and Evidence are very helpful. Also, on the first Saturday of the semester and other times by arrangement, new students enrolled in Criminal Defense Clinic I participate in an orientation session. Please make sure you are available on the first Saturday of the semester if you enroll in CDC I.
Criminal Defense Clinic I is a three credit course. Criminal Defense Clinic II can be taken for from 4 to 6 hours of credit. Both Clinics can be taken for more than one semester, which is highly recommended for persons who intend to obtain work in a public defender office after graduation.
Work on behalf of clients of the Public Defender Office can often be done in the evening or on the weekends. Some of the work must be done during the regular hours of court on Monday through Friday. Depending on the assignment, the work will be done in court, at home, in the PD office, or elsewhere in the community (for instance, in going to speak with witnesses, visiting and photographing the scene of an incident, etc.).
In Criminal Defense Clinic I, students are required to work in the Clinic 11 hours each week. Summer students must work 20 hours/week. Clinic II students are required to work in the public defender office 18 hours a week if they are enrolled for 6 hours of credit, 16 hours if enrolled for 5 hours credit, and 14 hours if enrolled for 4 hours credit. Summer students enrolled in Criminal Defense Clinic II must work approximately 34, 30 or 26 hours/week depending on whether they are registered for 6, 5 or 4 hours of credit. However, these hours need not be completed during regular business hours. Many of the hours can be completed in the evening or on the weekends.
Grades are based on a combination of recommendations from the supervising attorneys, a written (3 page) journal submitted three times during the semester, the completion of at least one written research assignment done for the supervising attorney, the completion of the requisite number of hours of work each week, and participation in the weekly seminar.