Criminal Placements Descriptions
Lit Clinic students work an average of 8 hours per week for a six-week criminal law rotation, either the first or second half of the semester. They ALSO continue to work with their civil law supervising attorneys, though they may rachet back their civil law hours a bit while doing the criminal law rotation. Please read the following descriptions of the available criminal law placements.
Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office
Students assigned here may prosecute infractions, misdemeanors and misdemeanor appeals as they rotate through the criminal district courts in Forsyth County (traffic, criminal, juvenile, domestic, and infractions court). There is also a court session in Kernersville on Wednesdays that combines nearly all of these areas. Any interested Lit Clinic student may seek the opportunity to try a case before a jury during misdemeanor appeals sessions, whether or not they are placed with the Forsyth DA’s Office.
Private Criminal Defense
Students placed with private criminal defense attorneys may handle court-appointed misdemeanors and may assist in trial preparation of felony cases. Students often have the opportunity to interview clients, both in and out of jail, and to appear in court on their behalf.
Federal Public Defender’s Office – MDNC
Two students (one per six-week rotation) may be placed with the federal public defender’s office in Greensboro or Winston-Salem. You may participate in client interviews, do research, and assist at trial, though you will not actually try a case.
Guilford County District Attorney’s Office
Students working under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys may prosecute infractions and misdemeanors. The main office is located in downtown Greensboro. It is also possible to work in the High Point branch of the Guilford County DA’s Office.
Forsyth County Public Defender’s Office
Students placed here interview clients, enter pleas, and sometimes try cases in District Court. It is possible that a Clinic student assigned to this office could have a Superior Court jury trial.
Guilford County Public Defender’s Office – Greensboro or High Point
Students will have varied opportunities that will include much client contact, both in the office and through visits to the jail. There will be opportunities to handle pleas in court and to work with APDs on their cases. Students who are interested in juvenile law may want to seek out this placement, as there will be an opportunity to work with an APD who is devoted solely to juvenile cases. However, the placement itself can also be tailored for variety of experience rather than focusing on one area.
Rockingham County District Attorney’s Office
Students placed here will have opportunities to run dockets and try cases in district court, and may have opportunities for jury trials in Superior Court. They will very likely at least perform research for assistant district attorneys’ superior court cases. This is a rural county where students are rare, so any opportunities that come along will be yours. Well worth the one hour drive if your schedule permits.