Criminal Practice Clinic

SLN #: 40292
Course Prefix: LAW-774
Course Section: 001
Credit Hours: 6
Instructor(s): Zettler

Course Description:
Students enrolled in the Criminal Practice Clinic are responsible for prosecuting defendants charged with crimes within Maricopa County. Students are assigned to one of several City Prosecutors' offices or the County Attorney's office. Students are responsible for a full range of trial-related tasks, including interviews with victims, witnesses and police officers, pre-trial discovery, motion practice, and trial preparation all of which lead to the actual trying of the case. Students can expect to spend the maximum amount of time actually trying cases in the courtroom. The Clinic is structured so that students are initially assigned simple cases without defense attorneys to try. As the student gains experience, the student will be assigned more difficult cases. By the end of the semester each student should actually try a case to a jury. Faculty associate, Hugo Zettler, provides supervision of the Criminal Practice Clinic.

The seminar component addresses various advocacy problems encountered by the students in court. It also includes simulation exercises in trial practice.

Students are expected to spend 300 hours in the Clinic during the semester (approximately 30 hours of training and 270 hours of casework). As a general guideline, students are expected to work 20 hours per week. Students participate in a mandatory seminar, with instruction in courtroom advocacy, interviewing and counseling skills, substantive law and court procedure.

Attendance at the seminar is mandatory. Evidence is a pre-requisite for the Criminal Practice Clinic. Trial Advocacy is not a prerequisite, but if students have been through this course, the skills are beneficial to students’ cases. Students may not take Trial Advocacy or Evidence in Trial Advocacy and the Criminal Practice Clinic within the same semester. Prior to signing up for the class, students must attend a Clinic Seminar meeting.

This course fulfills the professional skills requirement for graduation.

NOTE: Please see the Clinical Program website for more details:

Additional Information:
Credit Hours: 6
Grading Option: Pass/Fail Only
Flexible Writing Requirement: No
Skills Requirement: Yes
Experiential Learning: No
Prerequisite: Evidence
Special Withdrawal Course: Yes, last day to withdraw without special permission from the Director of Clinical Programs is 1 month prior to the first seminar class.
Limited Enrollment Number: 6
Final Exam Given: No
Attendance Policy: Per Statement of Student Policies
Additional Attendance Policy: Mandatory

* The law school has a policy that is used to calculate credit hours. Please see the Statement of Student Policies.