Faculty: Katie Kronick and Jonathan Kerr
The Criminal Defense and Advocacy Clinic provides students with an opportunity to directly represent individuals charged with criminal offenses, develop the skills to practice in a criminal law or trial advocacy setting, and a broad perspective on systemic issues in the criminal legal system.
The Clients: Students represent indigent individuals who are charged with misdemeanors and low-level felonies in Baltimore City. Students will provide their clients with client-centered representation—representing the client not only on the matter before the court but also helping the client with any of the issues that may have contributed to their court involvement.
The Student Experience: Under the supervision of UBalt faculty, students handle all aspects of their clients’ cases including client interviewing and counseling, investigations, discovery, plea negotiations, motions practice, trials, and sentencing. In addition to direct representation, students engage in advocacy projects such as post-conviction litigation, prison conditions litigation, and policy initiatives. This litigation experiences and training not only benefit students who go on to be criminal law practitioners but also any lawyering career.
The Training: As part of the clinic, students participate in a weekly seminar to support their fieldwork. The seminar includes simulations, skills training, and readings and discussions that provide context for the issues that arise as they represent individuals in the criminal legal system.
Prerequisites: First-year Day Curriculum, Evidence, Constitutional Criminal Procedure I, Professional Responsibility.
Recommended Courses: Constitutional Criminal Procedure II, Trial Advocacy.
Policies and Procedures: The Criminal Defense and Advocacy Clinic is a one-semester clinic. Students are expected to devote approximately 20 hours per week to clinic matters. The clinic selects students under the lottery system.