Criminal Defense Clinic

The consequences of a criminal conviction—even for minor offenses—are severe. Convictions can result in loss of liberty, housing, employment, and educational opportunities; inability to obtain financial assistance; disruption to families and communities; stigma; and much more. These and other consequences of criminal convictions can negatively impact life for years after a conviction is entered in court. As with all other aspects of the criminal legal system, these consequences are often greatly amplified for the poor and for Black people and other people of color. This is particularly true in Baltimore City, where individuals from the poorest communities continue to disproportionately confront the criminal legal system. All of our clients face not only the “direct” consequences of convictions (or, the punishment imposed by the Court) but also the “indirect” consequences of convictions (such as having a criminal conviction record, the loss of housing and employment, and the countless other effects of a conviction).

In the Criminal Defense Clinic, you will represent indigent clients who are charged with misdemeanor crimes in Baltimore through all phases of the criminal case—from fact investigation and plea negotiations to trial and sentencing. You will also represent clients in bail reviews, helping them seek release pretrial, and in federal post-conviction matters for clients serving lengthy prison sentences. During the course of client representation you will have multiple opportunities to appear in court and make substantive legal arguments, while also exploring the criminal process and criminal practice in depth. 

My experience was hands down the best part of law school. The most challenging, but also the most rewarding.

Kelsey Robinson '21

E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow
Georgetown University Law Center