Section Description Provided by Instructor
Year-long offering - students will be registered for the Fall and Spring terms.
The Community Defense Externship offers up to 12 students the opportunity to learn about and experience the practice of indigent criminal defense in a holistic community-based setting through a combination of lecture, discussion, research, writing, mooting and direct client representation of residents of Northern Manhattan facing criminal charges in New York County Supreme Court.
The Community Defense Externship is a year-long 8-credit offering and consists of a weekly seminar and a placement at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (NDS). During the field placement, the students will be responsible for all aspects of at least one misdemeanor case, beginning with the client interview and arraignment at New York County Criminal Court. Students will also be matched one-to-one with NDS Staff Attorneys and will spend the year assisting their attorneys in all aspects of their cases, including writing and researching motions, investigations, social service and mitigation work, plea bargaining, and preparing for pre-trial hearings, trials, and sentencing. Rick Jones, NDS Executive Director and Kristin Heavey, NDS Staff Attorney will teach the course. The seminar and field placement will be graded each semester on a pass/fail basis. Students should plan to avoid permanent scheduling commitments on Fridays, as to ensure adequate time for fieldwork. Occasional Friday commitments are permissible.
There are no prerequisites for this course but preference will be given to students who have taken Evidence and Criminal Procedure. Students who wish to take a Trial Practice course are encouraged to take Advanced Trial Practice after this externship or concurrently with it in the spring semester.
Method of evaluation includes performance throughout the term.
W 4:20 –6:10 p.m.
Method of Evaluation
J.D. Writing Credit
Admission is by instructor permission during the Externship application period - see the Social Justice Initiatives page for more information.