Prosecution and Defense Clinic
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, provided they have taken Evidence (2Ls may take it concurrently). A 711 license is not required, but depending on the placement, may be encouraged.
Contact: (773) 702-9611