Introduction to Advocacy: Criminal Justice

Return to Course Catalog

Meets: W, Th 5:00pm - 7:00pm in WCC Room 3007
4 classroom credits

Co-requisite Clinic: Criminal Justice Institute (3 Fall credits + 1 Winter credit). Clinic and class enrollment is bundled. Enrollment in one component (e.g. class) will automatically enroll you in the other component (e.g. clinic).
Pre- or Co-requisite: Trial Advocacy Workshop (TAW) and Evidence. Students must enroll in both classes independently (no clinic priority). Failure to meet the pre/co-requisites by the clinic’s add/drop deadline will result in the student being dropped from this class and clinic.
Early Add/Drop Deadline: September 4, 2012.
Multi-Term: Fall-Winter class (3 Fall credits + 1 Winter credit).
LLM Students: Due to Massachusetts court practice rules, LLM students are not eligible to enroll.
Open to 3Ls only

Mandatory Meeting: Tuesday, April 17, 12pm-1pm, Ames Courtroom for all students in CJI/ITA Criminal Justice and Fall TAW.

Students will examine the nature, functions, dynamics, and ethics of such tasks as interviewing, investigation, examination and cross-examination of witnesses, argument, and other aspects of criminal defense advocacy, both in and out of the courtroom. They will also examine the theory and practice of defense advocacy for minors accused of delinquency, focusing on the constitutional framework of the juvenile justice system. Students will study the Massachusetts juvenile courts, examining the history and philosophy of a separate juvenile system, juvenile court jurisdiction, and the impact of various state agencies on the administration of justice in juvenile court. The class will attempt to develop a variety of operational and ethical frameworks within which students can understand and evaluate their practice experience.

In the accompanying clinic, students can expect to represent clients on criminal and juvenile delinquency cases in the local courts. In the course of representing clients, students may be required to visit correctional institutions, which necessitate a background check. They may also provide representation to minors in school disciplinary hearings or represent adult clients in appellate or other post-conviction legal proceedings. Students will be responsible for providing complete legal representation to their clients during the course of the term and are expected to work a minimum of twenty hours per week at the Criminal Justice Institute under the supervision of a clinical instructor at the Institute. Students will receive one-to-one supervision, individual critique of their courtroom work, and participate in regular group sessions with their supervisor. Classroom reading and discussion will draw upon and complement the students' experiences as defense counsel.

The teaching method will include exercises and discussions on the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility. Students will become familiar with the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights of both adults and juveniles accused of delinquency, as well as the law of evidence and sentencing. There will be a review of essential lawyering skills in criminal practice.

The clinic and class will start the week after Fall TAW, October 1–5, 2012. During this first week, all students must attend a number of mandatory orientation sessions. Each student is required to attend one day of court observation followed by a facility tour, which will be held on Monday (Oct. 1), Tuesday (Oct. 2) or Wednesday (Oct. 3) from 9:00 AM-3:00 PM. Additionally, all students must attend the mandatory orientation sessions on Thursday (Oct. 4) and Friday (Oct. 5) from 2:00 PM–6:00 PM each day. Starting this first week and throughout the Fall, class will meet on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 PM-7:00 PM. In the Winter, class will meet on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM.

This course satisfies the professional responsibility requirement.

Subject Areas: Procedure & Practice .