- Semester: Spring 2021
- Course ID: 597P
- Credit Hours: 5
- Internship Type: Prosecution
- Grading Method: Pass/Fail Mandatory
- Experiential Credit: 5 credit hours
- Upperclass-only elective
|WED||6:25 - 8:25 pm||TNH 3.140|
This course will be taught in person but with the option of remote participation via Zoom. Please note that this course might become online-only in the event that actual in-person attendance during the semester consistently falls below a threshold to be determined in the exercise of reasonable discretion by the instructor and the Student Affairs Office.
APPLICATION REQUIRED. Instructors: Robert Kepple and Jeremy Sylestine. The objective of this course is to educate students on the law and legal issues commonly encountered in criminal prosecution, and to familiarize the students with the unique duties and responsibilities of a criminal prosecutor not simply as an advocate, but as a minister of justice.
The course consists of a 2-credit classroom component and a 3-credit internship program in the Travis County District Attorney’s Office. All credits are pass/fail. The course is open to students who have completed the first two semesters of law school, but enrollment is limited and preference is given to students who have completed 43 credit hours or who are in their second semester of their second year of law school, and who would be eligible to appear in court for the State under the supervision of a licensed prosecutor. It is recommended that students have completed Evidence prior to this internship.
The classroom component of the course will require students to study substantive and procedural law and issues commonly-encountered by criminal prosecutors, covering topics such as charging instruments, discovery, search and seizure, jury selection, public integrity prosecution, trial tactics, evidence, post-conviction DNA, and oral advocacy. Students will also spend significant time discussing the unique ethical responsibilities and duties of a public prosecutor, with focus on the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and the National Prosecution Standards.
Each student will also be assigned to a trial court prosecution team or to the Special Victims Unit in the District Attorney's office and will be supervised by prosecutors assigned to the court and the Unit. Students can expect to gain active experience in all aspects of the day-to-day functions of the public prosecutor, including the charging decision, pleading, discovery, motions to suppress evidence, motions to revoke probation, and the trial of the case. Commensurate with experience and opportunity, students may have the opportunity to actively participate in the courtroom proceedings.
Students are required to fill out applications for admission to the course, and will consult with the instructors in advance regarding their court placement. Students must complete 150 hours of placement work for their internship. Each student will arrange a mutually convenient work schedule with their supervising attorney. Students may not receive compensation for their internship.