• Federal Defense Clinic – 7572

    Spring 2020




  • Prerequisites

    JD only. LAW 6085 Criminal Procedure (formerly LAW 6218) and LAW 6009 Criminal Law and LAW 6219 Evidence. LAW 6219 Evidence may be taken concurrently.

    Grad. Requirements
    • Experiential Learning
    Subject Area
    • Criminal Justice *
    • Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution & Advocacy
    Student Year
    Upper Division
    Grade Base
    A - F
    Course type

In this clinical seminar, students assist in the defense of indigent persons charged with federal crimes, under the supervision of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Minnesota, assistant federal public defenders, and Professor Frase. This clinic is offered once each year, usually in the spring semester. It was last offered in Spring 2018, and is expected to be next offered in Spring 2019.

Fieldwork includes assignments such as research and writing of Eighth Circuit appeal briefs, memoranda in support of or response to motions, and legal research on a wide variety of topics. When cases are available, students may also be given various second-chair assignments in the preparation for and conduct of court and jury trials. If consistent with assignment deadlines, students are encouraged to observe other trials and federal criminal court proceedings.

Additional Commitments/ Requirements: In addition to regular conferences with Professor Frase, students work about twelve hours per week on clinic assignments, for a total of approximately 150 hours. Each student will arrange a regular weekly schedule for their clinic work at the Federal Public Defenders Office in Minneapolis. Students may select the time periods during the week which best fit their other commitments (fewer separate work periods and days are preferred) but must stick to their agreed Office schedule unless modified with advance notice to the Office. These requirements serve to minimize delays in assignments of fieldwork and consultation with supervising attorneys.

After receiving notification from the Law School registrar of their enrollment, students must immediately contact Professor Frase to discuss procedures for this clinic. Due to the very limited enrollment [four students per semester] there is usually a waiting list. Students should only register if they are quite sure they are willing and able to take the clinic, and should promptly withdraw and notify Professor Frase if their plans change, so that a wait-listed student may enroll.

NOTE: This course requires certification pursuant to the student practice rule and is open to JD students only.

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

Walter F. Mondale Hall | 229 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-5000

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