"Real world" experience is easily obtained by law students participating in D.C. Law Students in Court. This year-long clinical program allows students to learn litigation skills while representing indigent clients in D.C. Superior Court. Students may enroll in the criminal division of the program whose office is located just a few blocks from the courthouse. This clinic provides the unique opportunity to work with students from four other area law schools that also participate in Law Students in Court.
D.C. Law Students in Court is available only to students selected after application and interview. Students must be eligible for certification under the D.C. Student Practice Rule.
Students in the criminal division defend indigent adults and minors charged with misdemeanor crimes such as assault, theft, or drug and weapons possession. The cases frequently involve issues concerning the legality of searches and seizures, identification procedures, or confessions. They also may involve the defenses of insufficient evidence, mistaken identity, alibi, entrapment, or self-defense. In addition to learning investigative and trial techniques, students learn about alternatives to incarceration and creative approaches to sentencing.
The criminal division conducts a weekly, two-hour long seminar on trial advocacy skills with occasional guest speakers from the legal field. These seminars are similar to trial practice classes in that evidence and trial practice strategy are the focus, and mock trials are performed.