CourseLeaf Curriculum Management Training
Sep. 02, 08:00 am
Law Exams End
Sep. 02, 10:00 am
Volunteer Fair
Sep. 02, 10:00 am
Volunteer Fair
Sep. 02, 10:00 am
Resumania
Sep. 02, 10:00 am

Law Exams End
Sep. 02, 10:00 am
Labor Day - no classes
Sep. 07, 12:00 am
Fall Break Begins
Oct. 10, 12:00 am
Classes Resume
Oct. 14, 12:00 am
Emerging Leaders Academy Graduation
Jan. 29, 03:00 pm

Volleyball vs Western Illinois
Sep. 04, 11:30 am
Volleyball vs. Coastal Carolina
Sep. 04, 11:30 am
Soccer vs Santa Clara
Sep. 04, 05:00 pm
Soccer vs. Santa Clara
Sep. 04, 05:00 pm
Volleyball vs Duke
Sep. 04, 07:00 pm

Criminal Prosecution Clinic

Criminal Prosecution Clinic

The Criminal Prosecution Clinic is one of KU Law's oldest clinics. It is also one of the few clinics in the nation that specializes in criminal prosecution. In the clinic, KU Law students work side by side with prosecutors in federal, state and local offices in virtually all phases of the criminal justice process. In addition to appearing in court on behalf of the prosecution in both preliminary hearings and trials, participants work closely with law enforcement agencies to develop cases, draft criminal complaints for use in issuing indictments, and help prepare appeals. Among the agencies our students work for are the following:

  • U.S. Attorney's Office (Kansas)
  • Kansas Attorney General
  • Douglas County District Attorney's Office
  • Franklin County Attorney's Office
  • Johnson County District Attorney's Office
  • Osage County Attorney's Office
  • Wyandotte County District Attorney's Office
  • Lawrence Municipal Court

Students in the Criminal Prosecution Clinic stand to gain a significant amount of courtroom experience. The clinic’s director, KU Law Professor Suzanne Valdez, brings to the learning environment her recent experience as a special prosecutor in nearby Wyandotte County, where she was commissioned for four years.


Building confidence through the Criminal Prosecution Clinic: Thomas ("T.C.") Penland, L’15

T.C. Penland, L'15

As an aspiring prosecutor, the Criminal Prosecution Clinic was one of the factors that drew T.C. Penland to KU Law.

The clinic has two components: a weekly class taught by clinic director Professor Suzanne Valdez, and an internship with a city or county district attorney’s office. While many legal internships focus on developing research and writing skills, the Criminal Prosecution Clinic offers courtroom experience as well.

“You’re writing responses to motions, researching the law, learning how to write in a persuasive, competent manner,” Penland said. “I was doing everything in front of a judge short of an actual jury trial.”

Penland recalls one case involving a man who took explicit photos of his mentally handicapped 14-year-old stepdaughter. The defendant argued that the photos were obtained unlawfully and could not be used against him. Penland wrote a response to the defendant’s motion to suppress the photos, and the judge ruled in his favor. “Without the pictures, there was no case,” Penland said. “I felt a lot of satisfaction from prevailing.”

Penland looks forward to applying the skills he learned to his future career as a prosecutor. “The clinic has given me confidence in my legal research and writing and developed my oral argumentation skills,” he said. “I don’t have a fear of researching, writing or stepping into the courtroom and presenting a case to a judge. That’s a big advantage.”

The clinic is open to third-year law students during the academic year for both the fall and spring semesters. Students may also enroll in the summer program, in which second- and third-year students may be considered for placement.

Download the Summer 2015 application (PDF)

Download the Fall-Spring application (PDF)

Questions?

Suzanne Valdez
785-864-9268
suzmac@ku.edu

Student Experience

Erin Slinker Tomasic, L'11

After finishing her first trial with the U.S. Attorney's Office through KU Law's Criminal Prosecution Clinic, Erin Slinker Tomasic, L'11 received public commendation for her work from U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom. The case resulted in two convictions. Read the story

Clinic Video

Why KU
  • One-third of full-time faculty have written casebooks used at U.S. law schools
  • 2 KU law faculty were U.S. Supreme Court clerks
  • KU’s Project for Innocence: 33 conviction reversals since 2009
  • 7,300+ alumni live in all 50 states and 18 foreign countries
  • #18 “best value” law school in the nation — National Jurist Magazine
  • 12 interdisciplinary joint degrees
  • 27th nationwide for lowest debt at graduation. — U.S. News & World Report
  • 70 percent of upper-level law classes have 25 or fewer students
  • Nearly 800 employment interviews at law school, 2012-13
  • Top 25% for number of 2013 grads hired by the nation’s largest law firms
  • 20th: for number of law alumni promoted to partner at the 250 largest law firms