What students in this clinic do?
Evaluate felony cases for possible postconviction motions in district court; research and draft postconviction motions; appear in court on motions where a hearing is granted.
What happens in the classroom component?
You will learn what “jail credit” and “sentence execution” mean, and how to advocate for those remedies on behalf of our clients. To contextualize that work, we will provide an explanation of the criminal court process and the consequences of criminal convictions.
What do students learn in this clinic?
Your primary goals are to understand and practice client-centered representation, to learn and improve throughout the semester, and to consistently produce high-quality written work.
When is this clinic offered?
Fall, spring, and some summers.
How many credits?Three credits
Are students permitted or encouraged to take this clinic for additional semesters?
We often have opportunities for students to continue on with the clinic as student directors. Our student directors continue to work on jail credit calculation and requests for sentence execution, but may also be asked to assist with an appeal, conduct research projects, and represent clients in supervised-release revocation hearings.
Are there any required or recommended pre-requisites?
Per the student practice rules, you must either be concurrently enrolled in or successfully completed a professional responsibility course.
Can students with full-time jobs take this clinic?
Class meetings and most of your coursework will occur at the Minnesota State Public Defender’s Office in St. Paul during traditional business hours. Work may be performed outside of those hours, but students often find it most fulfilling to work in the office with the attorneys.
Can students who live outside the Twin Cities take this clinic?
This clinic requires a commitment of at least one day per week in our office in St. Paul and is therefore best suited to students who live in the area.
Who should take this clinic?
The clinic would most benefit students who would like more exposure to the criminal court system, more practice writing motions and memoranda, and more experience with practical legal research.