Public Defender Clinic

Third-year students are eligible to participate in the Public Defender Clinic. Under the Third Year Practice Act, students have the opportunity to appear in court at hearings and trials on behalf of clients. Students assist in the representation of clients of the local public defender office in all aspects of representation, including fact investigation, witness interviewing, legal research and drafting, and preparing cases for trials and hearings. During the Fall and Spring semesters, students work at least 14 hours per week in the public defender office. Additionally, students participate in a weekly faculty-led seminar to further develop practice skills, explore questions of professional satisfaction and identity, and to unpack ethical challenges that come with live-client representation.