Prosecution and Defense Clinic

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Clinical Teachers

Lisa Noller
Gabriel Plotkin

Project Description

The Prosecution and Defense Clinic provides students with an opportunity to learn about the criminal justice system through: (1) a 2-quarter seminar taught by a former Assistant United States Attorney and a former Federal Defender; and, (2) a clinical placement in either a prosecutor’s office or public defender’s office. The goal of the clinic is to familiarize students with the legal procedures and issues which arise in a typical criminal case as well as ethical and other social justice issues (such as race and poverty) routinely considered by all criminal justice attorneys and courts. The clinic will provide students with a unique combination of substantive criminal law and procedure, ethics, trial practice (through participation in courtroom exercises built around a single federal criminal case), and hands-on experience through a clinical placement. Each student in the clinic will be responsible for securing a field placement and participating in a pre-screened externship program with a federal or state prosecutor or defender office for the winter and spring quarters. Examples include the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois or the Public Defender’s office in any northern Illinois county. (Please note that some offices require law students to apply as early as September for externships beginning the following January.) Students will comply with the clinical placement’s requirements regarding hours and assignments, which will be considered part of their course grade. In the clinical placements, students may be expected to research substantive criminal law issues, draft affirmative and responsive pleadings and memos, interview witnesses and clients, assist lawyers with court hearings and where permitted (and with an appropriate 711 license), appear in court under the supervision of practicing attorneys. Other components of each student’s grade are: seminar classroom participation, including discussion of readings; participation in trial practice exercises; twice monthly journal entries; and, a 10-page practice paper or research paper. There is no final exam (in either quarter) and students will earn up to seven credits for the course, depending in part on the number of hours required for the student’s field placement. Because of the practical component, the class size will be limited to 12 students. Both 2Ls and 3Ls may sign up for this course. Students are encouraged but not required to take Evidence prior to or concurrently with the clinic. A 711 license is not required, but depending on the placement, may be encouraged.

Students who want to learn more about the Prosecution and Defense Clinic may contact Professors Noller and Plotkin for more information.

Contact: (773) 702-9611

Local Prosecution and Defense Offices

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois
This office has an intern program for the spring semester (January-May), which would be equivalent to the Law School’s winter and spring quarters.  Applications for spring semester interns are due mid- to late- September.  More information may be found on the website: http://www.justice.gov/usao/iln/interns.html

Illinois Federal Defender Program
The Northern District of Illinois Community Defender, a/k/a The Illinois Federal Defender Program, has offices in downtown Chicago. The application deadline for spring internships is November 15th.  For more information contact Sergio Rodriguez at 312-621-8300 or sergio_rodriguez@fd.org.  

Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender
Students seeking this externship should follow the application instructions on the website’s employment page: http://www.cookcountygov.com/portal/server.pt/community/public_defender,_law_office_of/260/employment_with_the_public_defender

Please note that the CCPD recently has appointed a new contact person to administer all internship applications: Daynia Sánchez-Bass ((312) 603-8389 or daynia.sanchez-bass@cookcountyil.gov).

Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office
CCSA also hires its law clerks by semesters. The deadline for January (spring semester) placements is January 1st, but students interested in this placement should contact the office much earlier to confirm placement before the law school course begins.  Application details and an online application can be found on the website at: http://www.statesattorney.org/index2/clerkprogramprocess.html

Illinois Attorney General
The AG’s office accepts applications for winter/spring until December 1st. The AG uses a formal application which is posted online each year: http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/about/jobs/lawclerk_application.html .

Kane County Public Defenders
KCPD accepts applications for law student interns who qualify under Supreme Court Rule 711. For spring (January) starts, apply no later than December 1st. See  http://www.co.kane.il.us/publicDefender/interns.asp   For more information, please contact Kelli Childress, Beth Peccarelli or Thomas O. McCulloch at (630)232-5835.

Kane County State’s Attorney
KCSA will consider law all law students for internships, regardless for the spring winter semesters. For spring (January) starts, apply no later than December 1st.  See http://saopublic.co.kane.il.us/Pages/EmploymentInternships.aspx