Criminal Practice Clinic

SLN #: 12698
Course Prefix: LAW-774
Course Section: 001
Credit Hours: 6
Instructor(s): Zettler
Course Books: View List of Books

Course Description:
Students enrolled in the Criminal Practice Clinic prosecute misdemeanor cases in courts in the area. Students are responsible for a full range of trial-related tasks, including witness interviews, pre-trial motions, and courtroom advocacy. The Criminal Practice Clinic provides somewhat more frequent opportunities for trial work and fewer opportunities for such tasks as client interviewing, counseling, and discovery than the other clinics. Students are placed with various City Attorney Offices in the area (usually Tempe, Chandler, Glendale, Scottsdale, Mesa, Gilbert, Peoria, and the County Attorney's Office), and work under the direct supervision of assistant city attorneys. Overall supervision of the Criminal Practice Clinic is provided by Faculty Associate Hugo Zettler. At the beginning of the semester, students will work on simple cases against defendants who represent themselves. Students then move to cases where an attorney is representing the defendant. Eventually each student will conduct a jury trial under a supervisor's advisement.

Students are expected to spend 300 hours in the Clinic during the semester (approximately 30 hours of classroom instruction and 270 hours in an assigned prosecutor's office). Because the summer session is condensed, students should not plan on working another job during the summer semester. As a general guideline, students are expected to work 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters, and 30 hours per week during the summer semester (OR 30 hours per week for 10 weeks, or 40 hours per week for 8 weeks).

During the fall and spring semesters, blocks of time must be available to be in the courtroom. During the summer, students should be available all day, every day, five days a week. The blocks of time needed during the fall and spring semesters are four (4) hours in the morning (8 a.m. - noon) or afternoon (1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.). Students' fieldwork schedule for the fall and spring should be set up as one of the following:

1. five (5) half days; or
2. two (2) full days and one (1) half day; or
3. one (1) full day and three (3) half days.

If a student is interested in working at the City of Phoenix, Tuesdays and Thursdays must be completely available.

Each student will be given the opportunity to list his or her first, second, third, etc. choices for the office at which he or she would like to work. Professor Zettler will do his best to give students their first choice, but this is not always possible. Please be aware that some prosecutor offices may require a drug test.

The Criminal Practice Clinic has a mandatory seminar component that addresses various problems in the prosecution of criminal cases. The seminar sessions include simulation exercises in trial practice, including how to do direct examination, cross examination, and present opening statements and closing arguments. Classes during the summer are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. During the fall and spring semesters, classes are on Wednesday evenings.

The Criminal Practice Clinic is a graded course (6 credits). Evidence is a pre-requisite. Students must have taken or concurrently be enrolled in Professional Responsibility, Criminal Law and Civil Procedure. 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 and the Criminal Practice Clinic in the same semester.

Enrollment in the Criminal Practice Clinic is limited to eight (8) students during the summer session and ten (10) students in the fall and spring semesters.

NOTE: Please see the Clinical Program website for more details as well as the application.

Additional Information:
Credit Hours: 6
Grading Option: Letter Grade Only
Graduation Writing Requirement: No
Flexible Writing Requirement: No
Skills Requirement: Yes
Experiential Learning: No
Seminar: No
Prerequisite: Evidence is a pre-requisite. Students must have taken or concurrently be enrolled in Professional Responsibility, Criminal Law and Civil Procedure.
Special Withdrawal Course: Yes. Because of administrative considerations and professional obligations to courts and clients, no student pre-registered for a clinical offering shall be allowed to drop the clinic later than one month preceding the first day of classes, or to add the clinic, unless approval is obtained from the Director of the Clinical Program.
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.