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Criminal Defense Clinic

Variable Credit(s)
Fall: LAW 600 02 | Spring: LAW 601 02

Academic Year Only

Criminal Defense Clinic
Law School Clinic Suite

Clinic Director:
Clinical Professor Jeff Renz
406.243.5127
jeff.renz@umontana.edu

Prerequisites:

  • Professional Responsibility (effective for all classes entering Fall 2011 and thereafter).
  • Criminal Procedure, effective Fall 2012

Areas of Law:  Criminal Law; Post-Conviction Litigation; Civil Rights; Appellate Litigation; Constitutional Law

 Lawyering Skills:  Full representation of defendants in criminal cases at trial; Appellate representation in the United States Courts of Appeals and the Montana Supreme Court

Sample Projects:  Oral argument in Ninth Circuit annually; Appellate briefs (available on-line through Westlaw or Lexis search under AT(Renz)); Posthumous pardons for 77 men and women convicted of sedition during WWI (2006); Amicus briefs in Guantanamo cases; Amicus briefs in cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Criminal Defense Clinic is located in Room 117 of the Law School. Students in the Criminal Defense Clinic represent defendants in serious misdemeanor cases (cases that require appointment of counsel) and occasionally represent clients in uncomplicated felonies. Students participate in all phases of a criminal defense from the initial meeting with their client through acquittal or sentencing and, if necessary, appeal. Criminal Defense Clinic students argue each year before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and have written briefs filed with the Supreme Court of the United States, the Montana Supreme Court, and the District of Columbia Circuit. The Criminal Defense Clinic also represents prisoners in habeas proceedings in the United States District Court and in post-conviction proceedings in the state courts, and may engage in other litigation related to the rights of defendants and prisoners.