CRIMINAL PROSECUTION CLINIC
(CPC); SEMINAR (4) (CRN 85222), EXTERNSHIP (2) (CRN 14687), FIELDWORK (3)
Professor Frank Bress
The Criminal Prosecution Clinic "CPC" engages students in the prosecution of criminal cases in conjunction with the New York County [or Bronx County} District Attorney’s office and under the supervision of adjunct faculty member who are experienced prosecutors. Students participate in an intensive training program during the first three weeks of the fall semester, including (a) a program taught by and at the District Attorney’s office concerning the prosecution function and its internal policies and procedures, and (b) seminars at NYLS taught by Professor Bress and other concerning the New York criminal procedure and substantive criminal law. Each student will rotate through several bureaus at the District Attorney’s office, including the Early Case Assessment Bureau (which evaluates new cases and drafts accusatory instruments), the Criminal Court Bureau (which involves appearance in court at arraignments and in misdemeanor calendar parts), and possibly, the Grand Jury Bureau (which presents cases to the grand jury). All student work is supervised directly by Assistants District Attorneys and by an adjunct faculty member. Students can expect to interview police officers and crime victims and witness, conduct investigations, review police reports and other discovery material, draft motions and memoranda of law, participate in the development of a case theory and litigation strategy, and attend or second chair hearings and trials. During the Fall semester, twice weekly seminars focus on selected topics in criminal law and procedure, evidence, ethics, and lawyering skills. The seminars are a mixture of discussion, demonstration, simulation, and critique. Some of the seminars draw upon the cases students are working an, and students are expected to raise and discuss issues they are confronting in their cases. Simulations focus on critical lawyering skills, such as information acquisition through interviewing, direct examination and cross-examination; argumentation; and the presentation of complex fact patterns and legal analysis in affidavits, memoranda of law, and oral argument, During the Fall semester, students are expected to regularly devote 20-25 hours per week to the course, including both seminars and fieldwork, and to spend additional time as required by their cases. Students practice as "legal interns" under a Student Practice Order. During the Spring semester externship students continue their work at the District Attorneys office, but are no seminars. Both the fieldwork and seminar components (CR 22* & 22*) in the Fall semester are separately graded on a letter basis. The externship in the Spring semester (CR 22*) is graded on a pass-fail basis. Grades for both semesters are posted at the end of the spring semester. Pre-requisites may be waived with the permission of the instructor.
The course is open to third-year students only. Enrollment is limited. Permission of the Professor is required.
Prerequisites: Evidence; Criminal Procedure:
Recommended courses: Criminal Procedure: Adjudication
Note: It is recommended that Trial Advocacy be taken in the spring semester of the third year along with the CLC Externship (CR 22*). Trial Advocacy may not be taken in the Fall semester along with CLC Seminar and Fieldwork (CR 20* & Cr 22*).