Fall 2020
5300 Criminal Defense Clinic - LOCASCIO- 18794

Professor(s): Erik Locascio (ADJUNCT)

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Practice Skills - Clinics and Externships 

Time: ARRANGED    Location:  

Course Outline: The Criminal Defense Practice Clinic is a hybrid program offered through the UHLC Clinics Program. It consists of a weekly classroom component along with hands-on practical experience handling misdemeanor and felony cases in the Harris County Criminal Courts. These cases will be handled by the student attorney from initial arraignment of the client to either a plea bargain, dismissal, or trial at the end of the process. The student attorney will be responsible for all aspects of his or her case, including client interviews and updates; legal research of any issues in the case; analysis and evaluation of the State’s evidence; weighing and considering the various options available to the client for case resolution; and, if needed, sitting first chair during a criminal trial if the client so chooses.

During the classroom component, a variety of topics will be discussed, including a detailed walk-through and analysis of the Harris County criminal justice system, law practice management, trial strategies, and more.

Students will also be exposed to the many aspects of the criminal justice system, including hearings before a judge, plea negotiations with prosecutors, and interviews with witnesses. Cases will be selected to provide students with a variety of experiences.

It should be noted that essentially all court settings begin at 9 am each day, if a case is set for a given day. If you have other classes you need to take that are only held in the morning, you will miss out on a significant source of clinic hours. Please set your schedule accordingly. If you have questions regarding this, please feel free to contact Professor Locascio.

Student Orientation: TBA

Course Syllabus: Syllabus revised 9/8/2020

Course Notes:   The instructor for this course has expressed a preference to operate the course as distance education. This means no physical classroom is assigned for this course. This also most likely means synchronous internet videoconferencing class sessions during the day(s) and time(s) when the course is scheduled to meet. However, other, more flexible modalities are possible, such as not using some of the scheduled class sessions to meet but instead supplementing with asynchronous distance education techniques. More details should be made available from the instructor via their syllabus or via other means as the start of the semester nears.

Students must apply to the Clinic by submitting the online application at https://uhlc.wufoo.com/forms/m1263f5v0xj9tln/.

Students should not attempt to enroll themselves in these courses via PeopleSoft: if you’re accepted, the Clinic Program Manager will enroll you via the Office of Student Services.

Accepted students must attend a mandatory ½ day orientation held the Wednesday before the first day of school. A Clinic student group picture will be taken during orientation. Students will receive a separate email with additional information.

Prerequisites: Yes   - Evidence, good academic standing and completion of 45 credits.

First Day Assignments:

Final Exam Schedule:    

This course will have:

Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No

Experiential Course Type: clinic

Bar Course: No

DistanceEd ABA 306:

Pass-Fail Student Election: Unavailable (Instructor Preference)

Course Materials (4/23/2020 9:35:34 AM)

Book(s) Required

Course Materials: O’Connor’s Texas Crimes & Consequences, T.B. Todd Dupont II. Optional: Representing the Accused: A Practical Guide to Criminal Defense, Jill Paperno.