Learning Outcomes

The following is the A.B.A. Standard 301 Statement Regarding Learning Outcomes for the Prosecution & Defense Certificate.

Knowledge and understanding of substantive law

  • Understand the justifications for punishment and rationales for mercy
  • Understand the fundamental elements of crimes and defenses—actus reus, mens rea, causation, and affirmative defenses
  • Understand the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard of proof

Knowledge and understanding of procedural law

  • Understand the adversarial nature of the system, within the bounds of professionalism 
  • Understand Fourth Amendment search-and-seizure law, Fifth Amendment self-incrimination law, and Sixth Amendment right to counsel law (Criminal Procedure I) 
  • Understand how a case proceeds through a justice system and the principal constitutional issues that arise, including those as to jury selection, speedy and public trial, and double jeopardy (Criminal Procedure II) 
  • Understand how an Iowa criminal case proceeds through the justice system, with the ability to adapt to procedures in other jurisdictions
  • Understand the application of the Federal Rules of Evidence and their Iowa counterparts

Legal analysis and reasoning

  • Be able to analyze the fundamental elements of crimes and defenses as to any particular crime or defense 
  • Be able to create fact-based arguments concerning the application of the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard in any particular case

Legal research

  • Be familiar with precedents as starting points for legal research as to most constitutional criminal procedure issues
  • Be familiar with often-recurring issues in Iowa criminal practice, and where to begin researching such issues
  • Be able to locate pattern criminal jury instructions and propose revisions or new instructions to fit any particular case

Problem-solving

  • Be able to make fact-based arguments concerning the application of the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard in any particular case for either the prosecution or the defense
  • Be able to make cogent arguments for admission or exclusion under the Rules of Evidence 
  • Be able to plan the evidence needed to convict, and the evidence needed to avoid conviction in any particular case 
  • Be able to plan for how to overcome practical obstacles in case preparation such as witness reluctance or potential unavailability 
  • Be able to work effectively with police officers and defense investigators

Written communication in the legal context

  • Be able to write a simple motion or opposition to a motion 
  • Be able to propose jury instructions

Oral communication in the legal context

  • Be able to effectively communicate with key actors including police officers, complaining witnesses, defendants, defense witnesses, probation officers, and court personnel 
  • Be able to argue a simple motion or opposition to a motion in court 
  • Be able to try a misdemeanor case as lead counsel for either the prosecution or the defense
  • Be able to advocate for either the prosecution or defense in a sentencing proceeding

Exercise of proper professional and ethical responsibilities

  • Understand and show commitment to the principle that the prosecutor’s primary duty is to attempt to see that justice is done, not to convict 
  • Understand and show commitment to the defense counsel’s duty of zealous representation 
  • Understanding and applying defense counsel’s duty to keep attorney-client communications confidential 
  • Understand and show commitment to counsel’s duty to be respectful of the court
  • Understand and show commitment to acting professionally toward opposing counsel even in the often-stressful milieu of criminal litigation
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December 1, 2017
Law School News
November 21, 2017
Drake Law faculty and students in the Middleton Center for Children's Rights were instrumental in a new Juvenile Court Rule banning the routine shackling of children in juvenile court.
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