Criminal Prosecution Clinic Seminar – (Kings County)
The Criminal Prosecution Clinic (CPC) engages students in the prosecution of criminal cases in conjunction with a local District Attorney’s office and under the supervision of adjunct faculty members 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 others concerning the New York criminal procedure and substantive criminal law, and skills training. 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 appearances 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 will be supervised directly by Assistant District Attorneys and by an adjunct faculty member. Students can expect to interview police officers, crime victims, and witnesses; 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 will focus on selected topics in criminal law and procedure, evidence, ethics, and lawyering skills. The seminars will be a mixture of discussion, demonstration, simulation, and critique. Some of the seminars draw upon the cases students are working on (“case rounds”), and students will be expected to raise and discuss issues they are confronting in their cases. Simulations will 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 will be expected to regularly devote 21 to 28 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 will continue their work at the District Attorney’s office, but there will be no seminars. Both the fieldwork and seminar components (CR 85223 and CR 85222) in the fall semester are separately graded on a letter basis. The externship in the spring semester (CR 14687) is graded on a pass-fail basis. Grades for both semesters will be posted at the end of the spring semester. Prerequisites may be waived with the permission of the instructor.
The course is open to third-year students only. Enrollment is limited to eight. Registration is binding. Permission of the Professor is required.
Prerequisites: Criminal Law; Evidence; Criminal Procedure-Investigation
Recommended Courses: Criminal Procedure-Adjudication; Criminal Procedure-Ethics in Criminal Practice; Trial Advocacy
Note: It is recommended that Trial Advocacy be taken in the spring semester of the third year along with the CPC Externship (CR 14687). Trial Advocacy may not be taken in the fall semester along with CPC Seminar and Fieldwork (CR 85222 & CR 85223). The Criminal Justice Workshop and Seminar may not be taken in conjunction with CPC.