Criminal Defense Clinic
The semester-long Criminal Defense Clinic provides a first-hand, experience-based study of the processes, techniques, strategies, and responsibilities of legal representation at the trial level. Each student will represent defendants in actual criminal cases pending in the local courts under the direct supervision of an experienced local criminal defense attorney. The students themselves—not their supervising attorneys—will perform all of the lawyering functions associated with their cases, including interviewing, investigation, research, plea negotiation, and courtroom advocacy. In regular conferences supervising attorneys will guide the students’ case preparation, give practical advice, and help develop defense strategies. The full clinic meets twice weekly in seminar sessions where substantive areas of criminal defense practice are covered, including client management, evidentiary issues, criminal procedure, sentencing options, and ethical responsibilities. During the second half of the semester the emphasis will be on workshopping individual cases, and may occasionally include trial simulation exercises. At the conclusion of each case the student will prepare a brief memorandum reciting the narrative of the case and making critical reflections on the decisions made during the representation that affected the outcome.
*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the 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.