Students in the Rising for Justice Criminal Defense Clinic represent clients charged in misdemeanor cases in the District of Columbia Superior Court.
The program works to fight the consequences of poverty and to alleviate inequalities in the justice system while teaching law students to become effective advocates.
Under the guidance and supervision of experienced criminal defense attorneys, students are responsible for all aspects of client representation including interviewing clients, conducting fact investigation, performing legal research and writing, arguing motions, engaging in pretrial discovery, trying cases, negotiating plea agreements and assisting clients with probation revocations, where applicable. Through reading assignments, mock hearings, reflection, and actual representation, students learn how to develop a case theory and the skills needed for outstanding representation.
The program offers a learning environment that focuses on case preparation, courtroom experience and one-on-one working relationships with experienced criminal defense attorneys. Supervision and instruction emphasize litigation strategy, the skills necessary for effective lawyering, and client-centered representation.
There is a mandatory weeklong orientation the week before each semester’s classes begin. Students enrolled in Rising for Justice complete their casework and attend clinic seminar classes at the Rising for Justice office, located a short walk from the Gallery Place metro station at 901 4th St. NW, Suite 6000, Washington, DC 20001.
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