Public Defender

Credit: 3 credits
Number of Positions: 1

Externing students work with attorneys in the Appellate Division of the Second Circuit Public Defender's Office, which handles indigent felony appeals from all 32 counties in the First Appellate District and cases on discretionary review in the Florida Supreme Court. You will serve your clients as an appellate advocate in cases involving constitutional issues such as search and seizure, right to counsel, confrontation of adverse witnesses, self-incrimination, and right to a jury trial. Externs read trial records, research potential issues, and prepare initial briefs under the supervision of an experienced attorney. Each student will be primarily responsible for briefs in several cases and should have the opportunity to orally argue at least one case each semester. In addition to working in a firm with more than 20 experienced appellate attorneys committed to public service, each extern will participate in the First District Appellate Inn of Court, which includes monthly programs focused on professionalism in appellate practice. Inn members include appellate judges and prominent appellate attorneys.

Prerequisites: Students must have satisfactorily completed Evidence and be certified pursuant to the Student Practice Rule.

Recommended Courses: Florida Criminal Practice, Advanced Criminal Procedure.

Selection Process: The selection of the externs is handled jointly by the faculty supervisor and an attorney from the Appellate Division of the Second Circuit Public Defender Office. Selection is based on student's overall record, courses, grades, career goals, expected graduation date.

Objectives and Methods