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Spring 2023 Seminar

Judicial Process in Trial Courts Clinical Seminar

Required Clinic Component: Judicial Process in Trial Courts Clinic (2-5 spring clinical credits). This clinic and course are bundled; your enrollment in the clinic will automatically enroll you in this course.

Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.

By Permission: No.

Add/Drop Deadline: December 2, 2022.

LLM Students:International students on F-1 student visas are required to have Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization; LL.M. students are not eligible for CPT.

The “Judicial Process in Trial Courts” weekly seminar examines through participant observation the functioning of the judicial process in our trial courts.

Students undertake clinical fieldwork study of judicial performance through clerkship-like clinical placements with individual judges of the Massachusetts Trial Court and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Students are expected to complete research and writing projects for their assigned judge. Students must be available to assist and observe in court at least one full day each week; federal judges and magistrate judges require students to be available at least 2 full days a week (4-5 clinical credits). Additional credits and hours may be arranged with the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs and the instructor.

The focus of the seminar meetings is on the work of a trial court judge. Topics include judicial ethics, the jury system, sentencing, alternative methods of dispute resolution, access to justice, treatment courts, and restorative justice. The contributions of various scholars are reviewed in class, as well as distinct proposals for reform.

A final written paper is required. This may either be a research paper or a reflection paper that asks you to reflect upon your fieldwork and/or our seminar readings. This paper serves as the basis for each student’s grade for the weekly seminar.

For more information, please contact Judge John C. Cratsley (Retired); or Attorney Barbara Berenson