This course will focus on the pretrial phase in criminal cases. We will begin with a defendant’s initial appearance and conclude with a plea hearing. Class discussions and readings will explore the pretrial practices of effective defense counsel, including conducting a defense investigation, working with experts, and managing clients. The class will also emphasize oral advocacy skills, so students will be expected to appear as counsel during mock, in-class court hearings. It is anticipated that each class session will be divided into two components: (1) a short lecture/discussion period based on course readings and (2) skills practice. Finally, this course will provide students with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with criminal case pleadings, including the drafting of at least one motion. The course grade will be based on classroom participation, performance, and written work. There is no final exam.
|Course Areas of Practice|
Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law
Legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context
Exercise of proper professional and ethical responsibilities to clients and the legal system
Other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession