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Public Defender Clinic

Under close attorney supervision, students who participate in the Public Defender Clinic represent indigent defendants in criminal cases in the Maricopa County Superior Court and Justice Courts. In the past, clinic students have represented clients charged with drug possession, aggravated assault, resisting arrest, promoting prison contraband, car theft and DUI, to name a few. Students interview clients and witnesses, draft motions, and handle preliminary hearings, plea proceedings, settlement conferences, sentencing, evidentiary hearings and jury trials. They receive regular feedback on their verbal and written work from adjunct professors, other experienced criminal defense attorneys, and sitting Superior Court judges.

In order to sharpen the requisite courtroom skills, students also take a mandatory clinic seminar in trial advocacy. The seminar teaches effective public speaking techniques generally and also provides specific training in all aspects of trials including opening statements, closing arguments, direct and cross-examination, and voir dire.

Course Information:

  • Evidence is a pre-requisite
  • Enrollment is limited to 5 students in the Fall/Spring and 4 students in the Summer
  • Students receive six units of graded credit
  • Second semester 2Ls and 3Ls are eligible to apply

Time Commitment:

  • Summer: Full 8 hour days M-F required
  • Fall/Spring: Two 8 days (Mon-Thurs) and ½ day on Friday required
  • Students must complete 270 hours during the semester, including class time (approx. 20 hours per week, 27 hours per week in summer)
  • Mandatory 3 days training prior to the start of classes in Fall and Spring

The Public Defender Clinic does not accept outside referrals or direct inquiries for services.

Applications dates

Spring 2019:
Application period: September 26th - November 7th
Offers extended to students: November 16
Student acceptances due: November 19

Summer/Fall 2019:
Application period: January 21st - March 4th
Offers extended to students: March 8
Student acceptances due: March 11

**IMPORTANT!* - Pursuant to the Statement of Student Policies, Clinics – Students who have applied for a clinic and have been accepted may decline upon offer without consequence. However, once a student has accepted a clinic offered, any student who drops the clinic without prior approval by the dean’s designee will be subject to the 12-month ban.

Our people

Dan Lowrance

Dan Lowrance
Faculty Associate

Jeff Roth

Jeff Roth
Maricopa Public Defender