University of Pittsburgh

Criminal Defense Practicum

Catalog Number: 5939
3.0 Credits
Priority: Limited Enrollment - 3rd Year Priority
Catalog Requirements: "W" Writing, Professional Skills.

This course provides students with the analytical thinking, research, and writing skills that are needed to successfully litigate a criminal case for the defense from Pre-Trial through appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The emphasis will be on legal writing and how an effective advocate uses writing to advance his clients’ interests. Throughout the course, students will learn to hone their research and writing skills to present the best possible arguments in their pleadings. In addition, students will learn about the various stages of the criminal process and how to properly present and preserve issues for their clients. Analytical thinking and oral advocacy will also be enhanced through our in class simulations of trial court hearings and Oral Argument in the Superior Court.

The course will meet in class for 2 hours once a week. Additionally, students will be expected to complete 52 hours of field work (which averages 3.5 hours a week) which will include supervised work on actual cases from the Law Office of the Public Defender.

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