In this yearlong clinic, students work with prosecutors in surrounding areas and are exposed to all aspects of prosecution.
Through a combination of classroom lectures and discussions, readings, guest speakers and a field placement in one of several local prosecutors’ offices, students explore a range of practical, ethical and intellectual issues involved in the discharge of a prosecutor’s duties and responsibilities, including the exercise of discretion in the decision to initiate, prosecute, reduce or drop charges; interaction between prosecutors and investigative agencies and law enforcement personnel; dealing with victims and other witnesses; and relationships with defense counsel. Students are exposed to ethical issues including exculpatory evidence, duty not to prosecute on less than probable cause, cross-warrant situations, witness recantation and preparation and improper argument at trial.
Clinical field placements are in the Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Offices for Charlottesville, Albemarle County and 16 other Virginia jurisdictions within 30 to 75 minutes of Charlottesville, as well as the Charlottesville Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia and the Richmond Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District.
Most of the students’ responsibilities and duties will be at the trial court or pre-trial level, but may include writing appellate briefs. Students will be assigned to one of these participating prosecutor’s offices for the entire academic year, and are expected to work there on pending cases or in court at least one day per week. It is expected that each student will work out a suitable schedule with the office to which he or she is assigned. Requests for particular offices may be able to be accommodated, but students must be willing to work in whatever office assigned. Students are expected to provide their own transportation. Application