Students in the course represent clients in court before local judges. Each student works as part of a team but has lead responsibility for their own clients.
Representation is limited to clients charged with misdemeanors or noncriminal violations.
The courtroom component involves regular attendance at Ithaca City Court proceedings, including pre-trial conference sessions. Attendance at various Town Courts may be required (transportation is not required).
The criminal charges typically faced by clients include harassment, criminal mischief, criminal contempt, misdemeanor DWI, disorderly conduct, various drug offenses, assault, and vehicle and traffic offenses (excluding traffic tickets).
During the semester students will be expected to:
The opportunity to conduct non-jury trials depends upon the individual case and the outcome of the plea-bargaining process. Most cases are resolved by plea negotiations prior to trial.
The classroom component of the course involves discussion, lecture, and courtroom simulation exercises.
Classroom activities are linked to case representation. Exercises and discussion provide mentoring, theoretical issues tied to criminal representation, and practicum exercises to provide the foundations and skills to be applied by students in client representation.