Misdemeanor Defense Clinic – 7500
The educational goals of this clinic are knowledge, an understanding of, and the ability to practice in a criminal justice system. This course involves supervised student representation of persons charged with misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor offenses in Hennepin County District Court. Student attorneys represent clients at all stages of the criminal process, including arraignments, pretrial conferences, and trials. Student attorneys attend at least three arraignment sessions where they interview individuals who have charges pending against them on that day’s arraignment calendar. The student attorney evaluates the charges, negotiates with the City Attorney, and appears with the client in court. Student attorneys in the clinic follow up on cases they open up at arraignments, and some of these cases may go all the way through a jury trial.
A weekly two-hour lecture is devoted to misdemeanor laws and procedure, trial and advocacy skills, evidence problems as related to criminal law, and other areas of law and procedure related to the local criminal justice system. Student attorneys are required to participate in one ride-along with a police department in the metro area.