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LAW Criminal Defense Clinic: Clinical Practice

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LAW 408A

Criminal Defense Clinic: Clinical Practice

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[ Academia ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] [ Litigation ] Litigation/ADR: Family Law/Trust & Estate Litigation

Why it is relevant for ...

[ Academia ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] as a Clinic : This clinic is a great choice for students interested in criminal law, whether their focus is on prosecution or defense work. It is also useful for future public interest lawyers who may represent clients caught up in the criminal justice system. They will get a broad range of experience in substantive criminal law as they work with clients at trial, on appeal and post-conviction. Be sure to also consider other clinics: Whether or not a clinic focuses on the substantive law of your specific career orientation, you can be confident that every clinic will provide skills-based training that is relevant and transferable to other areas of practice. Review the clinic activities for the skill sets you are most interested in acquiring, such as interviewing clients, presenting arguments, writing for different audiences, or negotiating and collaborating with others. Equally important, the mentoring offered to students by clinical program directors provides a valuable opportunity to develop that key lawyering competence: professional judgment. The following clinics are particularly useful for those planning to work in the policy arena or practice with regulatory agencies as they develop a policy focus and administrative advocacy skills useful for this career direction in any substantive area: Criminal Prosecution Clinic, Cyberlaw Clinic, Environmental Law Clinic, Education Law Clinic, Supreme Court Clinic

[ Litigation ] as a Clinic : This clinic is a great choice for students interested in criminal law, whether their focus is on prosecution or defense work. They will get a broad range of experience in substantive criminal law as they work with clients at trial, on appeal and post-conviction. The clinic is also useful for future public interest lawyers who may represent clients caught up in the criminal justice system. Be sure to also consider other clinics: Whether or not a clinic focuses on the substantive law of your specific career orientation, you can be confident that every clinic will provide skills-based training that is relevant and transferable to other areas of practice. Review the clinic activities for the skill sets you are most interested in acquiring, such as interviewing clients, presenting arguments, writing for different audiences, or negotiating and collaborating with others. Equally important, the mentoring offered to students by clinical program directors provides a valuable opportunity to develop that key lawyering competence: professional judgment. The following clinics are particularly useful for those planning to litigate as they develop written and oral advocacy skills useful for a litigation career in any substantive area: Criminal Prosecution Clinic Cyberlaw Clinic Environmental Law Clinic Community Law Clinic Education Law Clinic Supreme Court Clinic

General course Description:

Students in the Criminal Defense Clinic will represent indigent criminal defendants in a wide range of misdemeanor cases in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Students will be California Bar Certified and thus will be bound by the rules and ethics of the profession, notably zealous advocacy on behalf of clients. Students will take the lead role in all aspects of case development, including interviewing clients and witnesses, investigating facts, developing case strategy, negotiating with the prosecutor, drafting and arguing motions, and trying cases before judges and juries. Common charges include drug possession, public order offenses, assault, theft, and weapons possession. While students will have primary responsibility for all aspects of their cases, all trial work will be closely supervised. In addition to casework, there will be weekly seminar sessions. The classes will focus both on case-rounds and on broader systemic issues. The goal of the clinic is to train students how to try a criminal case from beginning to end while engaging in thoughtful reflection on the role of the criminal defense attorney in the criminal justice system. While the work is often challenging and sometimes heartbreaking, it offers students a unique opportunity to put their skills, intellect and compassion to use by serving people in a moment of great need. The Law School's clinical courses is being offered on a full-time basis for 12 credits. Students enrolled in a clinic are not permitted to enroll in any other classes, seminars, directed research or other credit-yielding activities during the quarter in which they are enrolled in a clinic. Students may not enroll in any clinic (basic or advanced) which would result in them earning more than 27 clinical credits during their law school career.

Course Style: A Clinic provides hands-on practical legal experience under the supervision of a faculty member and complemented by a seminar.

Course Frequency: Offered twice a year

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