College of Law > Academics > Experiential Learning > Legal Clinics > Criminal Appeals

Criminal Appeals Clinic

Fall or spring semester: 3 credits

The Criminal Appeals Legal Clinic provides students with the opportunity to represent clients convicted of felony or misdemeanor offenses in front of the Illinois Appellate Court. Working under the supervision of attorneys from the Office of the State Appellate Defender, students will review the trial court record; confer with the clients; research the law to provide support for their theories; and draft and file briefs at the end of the semester. The classroom component of the clinic includes lectures on appellate procedure and roundtable discussions on students' progress throughout the semester.

While the Criminal Appeals Legal Clinic focuses in appellate law, it also provides insight into trial practice. Students review and analyze the procedures, motions and evidentiary rulings that took place in the trial court. The Criminal Appeals Legal Clinic's focus on research and writing is ideal for students seeking clerkships or wanting to develop persuasive writing skills. Beyond the invaluable experience gained by direct representation, students leave with a unique writing sample to submit to potential employers: an actual brief filed in a court of appeals.

The Criminal Appeals Clinic is taught in a rotation by attorneys from the Office of the State Appellate Defender.

The Criminal Appeals Clinic also offers an additional semester of course work for students who have already completed one semester of the clinic. This second-semester course will allow students to continue representing their appellate clients through the reply brief process and expand their knowledge base by working on additional criminal appeals.

Course Information

Instruction: This course is a combination of lecture, in-class discussion, skills instruction, and client counseling.
Number of Students: Up to 8 per semester.
711 License: A 711 license is not required to participate in the Criminal Appeals Clinic.
Prerequisites: None.
Eligibility: Only rising 2L and 3L students are eligible to apply.