Genocide and War Crimes Prosecution Practicum

In this course, the class will collectively analyze the genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity charges against an accused in a major international tribunal prosecution. Each student will be assigned witnesses in the case and is expected to analyze that testimony and record their work in the case database using Casemap software meticulously following previously established protocols. The work involves the students learning the nature of the conflict generally, thoroughly learning the indictment against Taylor, getting up to speed on the law of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and finally assessing the witness testimony for relevant facts and attributing those facts to the legal outline in the case. For further information, contact Professor David Akerson at dakerson@law.du.edu.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (in the Graduate Tax Program)

Using a focused series of classes related to issues facing individual low income taxpayers embroiled in conflict with the Internal Revenue Service or in litigation before the United States Tax Court (innocent spouse relief, earned income credit, dependency exemptions, appeals of audits and collection due process issues, tax litigation), this course first prepares tax students to represent taxpayers regarding such issues, then provides the opportunity to practice before the IRS and in the Tax Court. In a year-long clinical setting, students are trained in all facets of practice before the IRS and the Tax Court. Once trained, under the supervision of clinical staff, the students undertake representation of low income taxpayers in tax audits, appeals, collection proceedings, and, if necessary, before the Tax Court. All facets of client representation, including initial client meetings, representation agreements, client advocacy, and ending the representation, are experienced by each clinic participant. The clinic is open to joint degree (J.D. and L.L.M.) candidates and students may earn up to 4 quarter hours. Contact the Graduate Tax Program at 303-871-6239 for registration information.

Poverty and Low-Wage Work in America (for students completing the service project)

Poor people in America work. This seminar will explore the relationship between employment laws, low-wage work, and domestic policies as they relate to workers’ rights and poverty. The course will begin by exploring the extent of poverty in the United States, access to justice, and select legal problems and social policies that attempt to ameliorate poverty. The class will examine wage and hour protections and immigration policies that impact low-wage workers. Particular focus will be given to the employment realities of communities of color and women, where the majority of low-wage workers are concentrated. Students will have the opportunity to choose either: (1) a Service Project with a public interest organization (which will meet the Public Service requirement of the law school); (2) a Research Paper (which will meet the Upper Level Writing requirement); or (3) a Final Exam.

Probate Practicum

Students will be assigned a client to represent and assist through a guardianship and/or conservatorship proceeding. Students will be responsible for meeting with the client as necessary, obtaining any and all necessary information and documents for and completing pleadings for the proceeding, reviewing the proceeding with the client and obtaining required signatures, coordinating with the supervising attorney to file the pleadings in an appropriate manner, attending and participating in the hearing on the petition for appointment as counsel for the client, and following up with the client to ensure that he or she understands the deadlines for and contents of any pleadings.

Street Law – Public Education

Under faculty supervision, students in two-person teams will teach law in urban high schools. An underlying principle of the course is that one of the best ways to learn is to teach. There will be weekly seminars and field performances supervised by the instructor. Students will develop skills in: practical application of legal concepts; substantive topics in federal and Colorado law; teaching techniques; classroom management; and the multifaceted roles of lawyers in the community. Each student will participate in researching, drafting and presenting a course in a particular field of substantive law.

Street Law – Department of Corrections

Under faculty supervision, students in teams will teach law in Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) facilities while also mentoring 1 or more teams of students in the Street Law I program. There will be weekly seminars and field performances supervised by the instructor. Students will develop skills in: practical application of legal concepts; substantive topics in federal and Colorado law; teaching techniques; classroom management; and the multifaceted roles of lawyers in the community. Each student will participate in researching, drafting and presenting a course in a particular field of substantive law.

Trial Practice III: Mentor’s Practicum

Trial Practice III: Mentor’s Practicum is a year-long, skills-based course for law school students seeking to refine their trial skills, and improve their understanding and application of evidence and criminal procedure, through teaching these skills to local area high school mock trial students. The course consists of two classes a week. The first takes place at the law school and is facilitated by Professors Schott and Webb. This weekly class involves case analysis and evidentiary discussion, resulting in the law students preparing their lesson plans to be taught to the high school students. Lesson plans will include trial topics such as case analysis and evidentiary discussions, direct and cross-examination, objections and the rules of evidence, opening statements, closing arguments, and development of theme and theory.

The second weekly class takes place at a local area high school, where the law students act as mentor-coaches to high school mock trial teams participating in the Fall Providence Cup Mock Trial Tournament and the Spring Colorado Bar Association’s mock trial competition. Admission to the class is by permission of the professors. While preference will be given to students who have completed Evidence, Criminal Procedure, and Trial Practice I and II, consideration will also be given to students who have not completed all those courses but have experience gained through participation in a Student Law Office clinic, STLA moot court competitions, ABA or TYLA trial team, or an externship that involved attorney-supervised trial work.

Wills Lab

This lab is designed to provide students with practical experience with interviewing and drafting for a real client while under the close supervision of a practicing attorney. Clients come primarily from Legal Aid. Each student is individually supervised by a volunteer attorney or by Prof. Marsh. The attorney goes with the student to the first interview with the client to assist the student if any difficulties come up in the interview. Then the student drafts the appropriate documents from scratch, and the attorney helps the student determine what revisions are necessary. When documents are in final form the attorney assists the student in having the documents properly signed. Documents include will, living will, and medical or financial powers of attorney, as appropriate. Letter grades are given by Prof. Marsh. Note that no student is allowed to drop the Wills Lab after the first interview with the client unless there is a severe medical emergency. There will be one introductory meeting scheduled during lunch time. All the rest of the work is scheduled individually by the student, supervising attorney, and client.

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