Duration: Year-long third year criminal defense practice course which is available to final year law students.
Credits: 8 credits (4 credits per semester/letter grade)
The Suffolk Defenders represent clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies in the Boston Municipal Court. The Defenders provide their clients representation in all phases of the court process, including arraignment, bail hearings, suppression and discovery hearings, pretrial conferences, trials, sentencing and occasionally post conviction hearings. The program has a classroom component and a field work component.
The class, which meets two hours per week, covers the multiple aspects of criminal representation, including the role of defense counsel, establishment of the attorney-client relationship, investigation of cases, negotiation, and trial preparation. Students develop trial skills through role playing exercises and mock motions against students in the Prosecutors program. Class also focuses on a critique of the criminal justice system, discussion of ongoing cases and reflection on your experience in that system.
The field work component involves the conscientious and thorough representation of clients. To prepare for such representation, students will, in addition to their classes, have weekly interviews and small section meetings with their supervisor. In these meetings, students develop theories and strategies for defending their cases. The Suffolk Defenders Program presents the motivated student with an opportunity for intense one-on-one supervision in a highly structured, real life environment.
You must be available at least one day per week (8:30 am until 4:00 pm), either Mondays or Tuesdays for court appearances. That obligation commences before the clinic starts accepting cases, beginning the first week of class. Every effort will be made to accommodate students’ preferences for a Monday or Tuesday, however, some students may have to arrange their academic schedule to accommodate their in-court day because the two “teams” need to be divided equally. On occasion, students will be required to appear in court on other days of the week, for emergencies, to accommodate the Court and for bail appeals to the Superior Court. In addition, you will be expected to spend significant time on case preparation, client meetings, investigation and meetings with your supervisor.
The students accepted to the Defenders Clinic must also be available for intensive orientation training the week before classes start. During the course of the academic year, students will be responsible for accommodating the Court’s calendar and the needs of their clients. Therefore, students may have to work on their cases during school vacations, and on very rare occasions, be available to attend court during the same time frames.
Evidence is a prerequisite. Preference will be given to students who have completed a trial practice course. Students accepted to the clinic who have not taken a trial practice course are required to register for one in the fall. Questions: Contact Professor Chris Dearborn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Skills Menu Requirement
Civil Litigation Concentration Requirements
<<Course Updated: October 18, 2011>>