Clinic: Criminal Defense

The Criminal Defense Clinic (CDC) gives you the opportunity to use the analytical and critical-thinking skills you have honed during your law school career and help real clients with real cases and real problems. It provides you with a challenging but rewarding way to learn the practice of law. Student-attorneys are licensed by the State Bar of Texas and try cases under the supervision of experienced faculty members. In addition to trial work, Clinic students investigate crime scenes, interview clients and witnesses, litigate pretrial issues, negotiate with prosecutors, and work with judges and court staff. At times, students may arrange jail release, as well. Clinic students sit "first chair" at all stages of the representation, including jury trials, and maintain primary responsibility for the cases. The Clinic’s supervising attorneys guide students and sit "second chair" during court proceedings. Since the Clinic's inception in 1974, students have tried approximately two hundred jury trials and represented clients in thousands of preliminary hearings. Many CDC graduates tell us that the Clinic was their best experience in law school. The Criminal Defense Clinic is a six-credit, pass/fail course. The classroom component is designed to help your transition from classroom to courtroom and includes discussion of both local customs and best practices more generally. Each Clinic student also works office hours every week, with hours depending on the size of the class. During office hours, students conduct initial intake interviews with potential Clinic clients, work on current cases, and handle any emergencies that arise, e.g., jail release. We will work closely with each student to avoid conflicts with other classes, job interviews, and exams. Two required simulations emphasize negotiations and trial skills. They are recorded and critiqued immediately. Volunteers from local prosecutor's offices often assist Supervising Attorney Richard Segura to make the simulations more “real.” For more information on the Criminal Defense Clinic, contact the CDC’s director, Chris Roberts (232-1033; CCJ 4.302A) or the CDC’s administrator, Kim Waters (232-1300; CCJ 4.302 Library). The Criminal Defense Clinic is physically located in CCJ suite 4.302 along with the Capital Punishment Clinic and the Actual Innocence Clinic. Prerequisites: 43 credit hours completed before enrollment. (This is a requirement of the State Bar Act and is not negotiable.) Students may not be enrolled in another clinic. APPLY ONLINE: https://law.utexas.edu/clinics/application-information/

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Thursday 4:15 - 6:05 pm TNH 3.140

Examination information not available

Additional Information

Course Type
Grading Method
Pass/Fail Mandatory
Features
Satisfies ABA Professional Skills Requirement

Textbooks

  • O’Connor’s Texas Criminal Codes Plus - George McCall Secrest Jr.
      O'Connor's , edition: 2015-2016
      ISBN: 978-1-59839-222-7   (required)