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Fall 2021
5300 Criminal Defense Clinic - LOCASCIO- 16941

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 appointed felony cases in the Harris County Criminal District 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.

Course Syllabus: Syllabus

Course Notes:   Whether this course will be distance education, or will have a physical room assigned, and if so the extent to which the instructor might use the room during the semester, is not determined at the time when registration initially opens for this course. You may see contrary indications in the UH systems where you actually register for the course. In other words, this course might be distance education with no use of a physical classroom. It might be the “HyFlex” mode in which some Law Center courses used a physical room during 2020-21. As we get closer to the start of the term/semester for this course, this course note will be updated as decisions are determined. The instructors will be involved in those decisions, but decisions about modalities may not be invariant throughout the term/semester or between now and when the course starts.


It should be noted that essentially all court settings begin at 9am 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 (Likely in August the week before class begins)

Prerequisites: Yes  Completion of Evidence; good academic standing; at least 30 hours completed.

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 (3/31/2021 1:25:25 PM)

Book(s) Required

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