Practicum: Criminal Law
The goal of this Practicum is to provide students with an understanding of criminal process and the criminal justice system. Students participate in a weekly seminar discussing various readings relating to the criminal justice system. Past seminar topics have included: the Role of the Prosecutor and the Defender, Criminal Procedure Issues, Grand Jury Investigation, Indictment, Disclosure Obligations, Jury Selection, Jury Nullification, Federal Sentencing Guidelines and Sentencing Policy, Plea Agreements, Pleas Bargaining, and Ethical Obligations. Students are placed in public criminal law agencies including the United States Attorney's office, the Federal Defender's office, the State's Attorney's office, and the Public Defender's office. Students work under the supervision of attorneys in these offices for 12 to 16 hours a week (the U.S. Attorney's Office requires 16 hours per week) and, in addition to observing the proceedings in the offices and various courtrooms, conduct research, write briefs and memorandums, and assist attorneys in trial preparation and trial. Third year students with 711 licenses may have the opportunity to appear in court and to conduct courtroom proceedings under the supervision of their field supervisor.