Students participating in the Clinic will be representing a number of clients each semester so they must be certified under Rule 38(d). Accordingly, only 3Ls and second-semester 2Ls are eligible.
This course is designed to give students theoretical and practical exposure to the problems faced of persons previously convicted of criminal offenses. The program has a classroom component and a representation component. Students in the clinic are certified under Rule 38(d) to represent persons with criminal convictions and, under the supervision of the Clinic director, assist them in filing motions to restore their civil rights, set aside their convictions, etc. The clinical work is not primarily aimed at developing litigation skills. Instead, it is to give students the opportunity to meet and work with clients, make strategic decisions on how to deal with cases, prepare court pleadings and handle brief court hearings.
The classes will cover the legal, policy and professional implications of reentry and the loss of civil rights, as well as an introduction to interviewing clients, preparing court pleadings, and representing them in court.
The writing consists of court pleadings for restoration of rights, set aside convictions, etc. and memos related to cases the students are handling. Students are expected to write multiple drafts of each motion. Students will be given feedback on their drafts.
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The grade is based on how the student handles their caseload--interviews their clients, maintains their case files, keeps their clients informed, prepares court pleadings, handles court hearings, etc. Also, class attendance is considered.
This course satisfies the Professional Skills curricular requirement.