The Appellate and Post-Conviction Advocacy Clinic (APCA) is offered as a year-long, eight- credit course. Second year students will be given preferential admission to the course. Third year students will be accepted as space allows.
Over the course of the year, students in the clinic represent clients in both the appellate and post- conviction phases of a criminal case. Students must enroll in the course for the full year (4 credits each semester for a total of 8 credits). During the fall semester, the scope of representation focuses primarily on a direct appeal before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals (Maryland’s intermediate appellate court). As a part of this representation, students working under active faculty supervision do some or all of the following: interview and advise clients; read trial transcripts (and other parts of the criminal case record); identify and select issues; conduct legal research; prepare several drafts of appellate briefs and/or other pleadings; conduct moots; and present actual arguments in court.
During the spring semester, the representation shifts to a collateral attack on a criminal conviction. This representation entails either a post-conviction proceeding in state court or a habeas proceeding in federal court. As a part of this representation, students working under active faculty supervision do some or all of the following: interview and advise clients; read trial transcripts (and other parts of the criminal case record); conduct limited factual investigations; identify and select issues; conduct legal research; prepare or revise drafts of post-conviction petitions and/or other pleadings; and participate in limited evidentiary hearings.
The clients include incarcerated individuals who have been convicted of serious felony offenses. Some, but not all, of these clients may have either credible claims of innocence, or legal arguments with potential law reform or impact significance. The weekly classroom component of the course (on Tuesdays from 3:10-5:00 p.m.) integrates theory and practice by surveying the legal rules that are relevant to appellate and post-conviction practice, and critically analyzing the sometimes conflicting values that relate to notions of finality (the need to bring an end to litigation challenging convictions and sentences) and fairness (the interest in avoiding wrongful convictions and incarceration). In class and in the assigned readings, students will also be asked to consider questions of ethics and professional responsibility.
Students who enroll in the course are required to attend a one day (9:00 am to 5:00 pm) Law Practice Orientation Program. Students who have taken the Post-Conviction Clinic or the Post-Trial Processes Clinic may not enroll in this course.
Current & Previous Instructors:
|597D (CRN: 26380) Credits: 4|
Spring, 2014 (Day).