FAQs for prospective students

  1. How many days will I be expected to be in court?

    Students will have one day a week that they will be in court. It will generally be the same day each week, unless your schedule is more flexible. Most days, you will be finished by noon. As soon as you are finished with your cases for the day, you are able to leave court. If the case is set for a contested bench trial, it may be set for the afternoon of your court day. During the pandemic and while court is not being held in-person, hearings will be held by Zoom.

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  2. How do office hours work and where do we do them?

    Students must be in the office at least two hours each week that are mandatory and two hours when the student is available, except during the pandemic. While the office staff is working remotely, a student will be expected to have at least four hours each week when remote office visits and meetings can be scheduled. If the meetings or office hours are in-person, these occur at the Travis County Juvenile Public Defender’s Office off of South Congress and Oltorf.  If the meetings are remote, Zoom or Teams will be utilized.

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  3. What kinds of cases will a student handle?

    Initially, students will be assigned Class A and B misdemeanors like shoplifting, burglary of a vehicle, and assault. As we progress in the semester, a student may be assigned felony property crimes.  Students act as first chair with the supervising attorney guiding and assisting.

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  4. Can 2L’s take the clinic?

    We take 12 students and generally have roughly the same number of 2L’s and 3L’s.

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  5. Are there any meetings outside of class and office hours?

    The class meets for two sessions each week in-person as scheduled for the first 5-6 weeks, unless accommodations need to be made based upon the status of the pandemic. After 5-6 weeks, the class will meet once a week usually on Tuesday. We do have some other meetings outside of class which usually occur on Friday. Students participate in a mock hearing outside of the regular class time. This will occur in groups of 3 plus a “judge.” There are two events we have done in the past which will be subject to what we can do. In April, students present to students at Lively Middle School on constitutional rights and protections and the consequences for youth who break the law. We also tour the Texas Juvenile Justice Department Giddings campus and meet with children who have been incarcerated there.

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