Criminal Defense Clinic

Section 1, Spring 23

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 10/13
Credits: 5
Days* Time Room Start Date End Date
  • TR
  • 1700-1830
  • WB164
01/24/2023 04/27/2023
*“R” means Thursday

Course Description

In the semester-long Criminal Defense Clinic students represent clients in three misdemeanor cases under the supervision of experienced criminal defense lawyers and study the processes, strategies, responsibilities and challenges of providing indigent clients with excellent representation at the trial level. Classroom lectures and discussions, readings, guest speakers, and other materials supplement and support the primary learning experience, that is, the representation of indigent defendants in criminal cases pending in the local courts. In addition to providing excellent representation of our clients, we will also examine the relationship between race, poverty and the criminal justice system as they arise in and affect our cases. Each student has the opportunity to perform all the duties of representing clients, including interviewing, investigation, research, dealing with prosecutors, negotiating, assisting clients in deciding how plead, trial preparation and courtroom advocacy. Supervising attorneys, each working with no more than four students, mentor your case preparation, and all aspects of your client representation in weekly conferences. The full clinic meets regularly in seminar sessions, where substantive areas of criminal defense practice are covered, including client communication, evidentiary issues, criminal procedure, sentencing options and ethical responsibilities. During the second half of the semester, we will emphasize workshopping individual cases, preparing for trials, and negotiation.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Final Type (if any): None
Description: None

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: No required paper or exam, but each student is required to prepare a series of memoranda in each case, beginning with the intial case assignment, continuing through the investigation and trial preparation, and ending with a closing memorandum.

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: (Civil Procedure (6000)) AND (Criminal Law (6003)) AND (Evidence (6104)) AND (Professional Responsibility (7071) OR Professional Responsibility in Public Interest Law Practice (7072) OR Professional Responsibility for Tax Lawyers (7134) OR Ethics and Integrity for Law Firm Lawyers and Their Clients (SC) (7605)) Third-Year JD status required; These classes are recommended but not required: Trial Advocacy, Criminal Investigation, Criminal Adjudication, Criminal Procedure Seminar, and Negotiation. Students must be eligible for Third-Year Practice Certification. Because the credits in this course count toward the JD Program Professional Skills requirement, JD candidates will be given enrollment priority for this class. Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: Yes
Course Resources: To be announced.
Course Notes: Bruce Williamson and Bonnie Lepold, both of the local firm Lepold & Martin PLLC, teach the fall seminar component, and Lacey Parker (Public Defender’s Office) teaches the spring seminar component.

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: Yes
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*If “Yes,” then students are required to submit a substantial research paper in this course, which means students do not need to submit any form to SRO for this paper to meet their upper-level writing requirement. If “No,” then students must submit a “special request” e-form to SRO (available via LawWeb) no later than five weeks after the start of the term for a paper in this class to be counted toward the upper-level writing requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Friday, April 21, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Sunday, April 30, 11:59 PM