Course Catalog

Access to Justice: Effective Assistance of Counsel at Bail: Legal Theory and Practice (6)

This criminal law and criminal procedure clinical course provides students with the experience of representing indigent defendants charged with non-violent offenses at District Court bail hearings. Students will build upon their knowledge of criminal law, criminal procedure, and professional responsibility in the practice of law and will develop advocacy and other lawyering skills. During the first part of the semester, you will be introduced to Maryland's criminal justice and District Court system, to the constitutional and statutory right to counsel, to the judicial balancing of pretrial liberty and detention, and to reforming the pretrial release and bail system. In these first classes, you will consider the impact of race and class on the rising pretrial population, become familiar with the lawyer's ethical duty to the client, and submit a five-page reflection paper. Part two introduces you to Maryland practice concerning pretrial release, bail and pretrial incarceration. You will learn the criteria for pretrial release, the different options available for securing an accused's presence in court, and the system's reliance on bail bond and bondsmen. You will then apply this knowledge to a simulated bail proceeding in which you will argue for your client's release from pretrial incarceration. Once you have completed parts one and two, you will be certified to practice law. You then will be assigned to represent several clients at two separate District Court bail review proceedings. As you prepare for court, you will learn many advocacy and lawyering skills, including interviewing a client, conducting a thorough fact investigation, developing a successful theory for pretrial release, and presenting a persuasive argument for court. Throughout the semester your growing knowledge of Maryland's pretrial release and bail system will lead to efforts to reform Maryland's current system. In addition to client representation and your early reflection paper, you will conclude the semester by submitting either a final course paper (10 pages) or a take-home exam. Students who enroll in this course are required to attend a one day (9:00 am to 5:00 pm) Law Practice Orientation Program the Friday before the first day of the semester in which the course begins.

Current & Previous Instructors:

This course is not currently scheduled.


Key to Codes in Course Descriptions
P: Prerequisite
C: Prerequisite or Concurrent Requirement
R: Recommended Prior or Concurrent Course

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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Copyright © 2014, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved