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For Federal Public Defender

Federal Public Defender

Criminal - Defense & Public Defender

Fall; Spring; 6 Credit


Factual Investigation; Legal Research & Analysis; Writing for Litigation

Work Description

DESCRIPTION OF ORGANIZATION:  The Federal Public Defender's office represents indigent clients against convictions at trial, or where appropriate, by bargaining for plea agreements, and if a client is convicted, by obtaining a just and fair sentence. 

The types of crimes the FPD’s clients are charged with include:

·  firearms offenses - felon in possession of a firearm

·  drug trafficking crimes - cocaine, crack, and marijuana possession, distribution, & multi-state drug conspiracies

·  immigration violations - illegal reentry

·  child pornography - possession, manufacture, and interstate trafficking

·  white collar crimes - fraud and tax evasion

DESCRIPTION OF STUDENT WORK/PROJECTS:   As externs, students work on cases dealing with hot new topics and help shape criminal and sentencing law in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Students have the opportunity to write motions and briefs, and to follow up on that work with visits to jail, client interviews, and court appearances throughout North Carolina’s Eastern District.  They also work one-on-one with attorneys and investigators and gain exposure to all stages of criminal cases including initial appearances, plea negotiations with the U.S. Attorneys Office, trials and appellate work.  Externs interested in gaining practical litigation experience may, through the North Carolina Third Year Practice Rule, represent consenting clients in Federal misdemeanor court.

REQUIREMENTS/PREFERENCES FOR STUDENT: Students have the option of being certified under the Student Practice Rule, and if certified could represent a consenting client. Max of three students will be accepted per semester.  U.S. Citizenship is required.  Applicants must complete a criminal background check and are expected to voluntarily disclose any prior criminal history.

6 Credit Preferred.

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106 | Accessibility

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