The clinics at NYLS give students an invaluable opportunity to develop practical legal skills while learning to advance fairness and equity in the law.

Criminal Prosecution Clinic (Richmond County)


Fall: Seminar (4), Fieldwork (3)
Spring: 2 Externship (2)
Professor Frank A. Bress

The Criminal Prosecution Clinic – Richmond County (CPC-RC) engages students in the prosecution of criminal cases in conjunction with the Richmond County 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 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 Assistants 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, a weekly 2½ hour seminar 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 an (―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 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 15-20 hours per week to the course, including both the seminar 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 (CRN 85223 and CRN 85224) in the Fall semester are separately graded on a letter basis. The externship in the Spring semester (CRN 146881) is graded on a pass-fail basis. Grades for both semesters will be 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. 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-RC Externship. Trial Advocacy may not be taken in the fall semester along with CPC-RC Seminar and Fieldwork. The Criminal Justice Workshop and Seminar may not be taken in conjunction with CPC.