Catalogue 2019 - 2020

LAWS 920 Criminal Law Prosecution Clinic



Course Description

Selected students in the Criminal Prosecution Clinic work as student assistant district attorneys within the Hampden County District Attorney's Office. By court rule, students in the Clinic are authorized to practice in any District Court case, which includes a mix of both misdemeanors and felonies. Typical of the offenses litigated by students in the District Court are possession and/or distribution of controlled substances, domestic violence offenses including assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and violation of a restraining order, larceny, assault and battery on a police officer, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. During the course of the semester, a student attorney will appear in three different sessions of the District Court: the arraignment session (in which students represent the Commonwealth in bail hearings), the motion session (in which students prepare and litigate oppositions to motions to suppress and motions to dismiss) and, ultimately, the trial session (in which a student prepare and litigate jury and jury-waived trials). This clinic allows students to gain substantial exposure over the course of the semester to the entire process of litigating a criminal case. Students enrolled in LAWS920 must also concurrently enroll in LAWS 921, a two-credit seminar, with their semester of fieldwork. Prerequisites: LAW 553 Evidence and LAW 706 Criminal Procedure Investigation. Enrollment is limited to selected third-year full time and forth-year part time students. No student may maintain outside legal employment while participating in this clinic. All students will be CORI/criminal records checked by the District Attorney's Office. A student is required to be SJC Rule 3:03 eligible. A student may not simultaneously enroll in more than one clinic, more than one externship, or a clinic and an externship. (This course satisfies 4 experiential learning credits.)