In addition to your first-year, required criminal law course, there are a number of other courses available at U of M Law for aspiring public defenders. Below is a list of essential courses that any future public defender should take as well as a number of other optional courses that future defenders may want to take depending on their schedules and on the type of defense work they want to do:
There are a number of other courses that are of interest to aspiring public defenders, including Prisons and the Law, Policing and Public Safety, Public Interest Litigation, Habeas Corpus, Forensic Science and the Law, Federal Criminal Law, Computer Crimes, Selected Topics on Fourth Amendment Law, Environmental Crimes, Topics in Criminal Law Theory and Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions. In addition, there are a number of practice simulations that will help to shape your advocacy skills including Appellate Advocacy, Evidence Practicum, Federal Prosecution and Defense, Fundamentals of Appellate Practice, and Trial Practice. Finally, some students will opt to do an externship in a public defender office during their law school careers. This is like a summer internship only it is during the year and includes mentorship, a journal, and a paper-writing component.
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