Stetson University

Federal Public Defender Clinic

5 Credit Hours

Overseeing Professor:
Cynthia Batt, Associate Professor
cbatt@law.stetson.edu

Adjunct Professor:
Mary Mills, Assistant Federal Public Defender
Middle District of Florida, Tampa

Program Description:
Students will have an opportunity to actively participate in the criminal justice system and perform the functions of an assistant federal public defender through all facets of case management, including representing clients during trials in federal court cases arising from MacDill Air Force Base or Veteran's Administration property. Students will also have the opportunity to represent clients charged with federal criminal charges at detention hearings and first appearances in the district court and will assist with other motion hearings. Students will further develop core competencies in advocacy skills and substantive knowledge required to serve as an assistant federal public defender through a combination of experiential learning and classroom instruction.  The classroom component will consist of a two day orientation at the beginning of the semester and weekly classes throughout the semester focusing on the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and their practical application to the cases the students are working with; applicable state law; sentencing guidelines, including hypothetical problems; U.S. District Court Rules; and the Local Rules for Middle District of Florida. 

Placement Locations:
• Tampa

Program Requirements:
• 200 hours (fall and spring), 280 hours (summer);
• Weekly classroom component;
• Weekly case review sessions;
• Detailed weekly report and timesheets; and
• Electronic journal entries (minimum of five).

Eligibility Requirements:
• Successful completion of four semesters and at least 48 credit hours;
• Be in good academic standing;
• Must have a valid ID; and students must provide a writing sample, cover letter, resume and transcript upon being provisionally selected for this program.
• Successful completion of Professional Responsibility, Evidence, Trial Advocacy, and Federal Criminal Procedure (Florida Criminal Procedure does not suffice);
• Must have received a letter of approval (sometimes called a Notice of Registrant Clearance) from The Florida Board of Bar Examiners or expect to receive one at least eight weeks before participating in a clinic program (see the Certification section of this Guidebook for more details); and
• Must be certified by The Florida Supreme Court and the Middle District of Florida before the beginning of the semester during which the student intends to participate in a clinic program.

Application Requirements:
• Submit a completed application by the appropriate deadline (for more information, see www.law.stetson.edu/clinics); and
• Timely submit additional documentation as required for this program. (Students are notified of additional requirements after applying and being provisionally placed in the program.)

Share Web Page