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Criminal Defense Clinic


Students in the Criminal Defense Clinic have the opportunity to represent clients in court appearances, depositions, and negotiations.

Criminal Defense Clinic

The Criminal Defense Clinic allows students to experience criminal law work. The clinic contracts with the Iowa State Public Defender’s Office to represent indigent clients who have requested a public defender.

Under the guidance and supervision of an experienced criminal law professor, student attorneys represent clients in all court appearances, from the arraignment process to hearings, depositions, negotiations, and trials—including possible jury trials.

Cases may involve charges of OWI, assault, theft, drug possession, prostitution, child endangerment and public intoxication, among others.

In addition, students participate in weekly classes and case rounds.

Limited to students who have completed three semesters or more of law school and are eligible to receive a student practice license. This clinic cannot be taken simultaneously with the Prosecutorial Internship.

Advanced Criminal Defense Clinic–Trial

The Advanced Criminal Defense Clinic offers students the opportunity to explore criminal defense in depth.

Students represent clients charged with simple, serious, and aggravated misdemeanors. Charges typically involve crimes against persons, crimes against property, motor vehicle offenses, drug offenses, and other offenses including child endangerment, prostitution, perjury, and carrying weapons.

Students may also serve as second chair in a limited number of felony cases.


Robert Rigg, Professor of Law
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For Prospective Clients:

The Criminal Defense Clinic only works with court appointed cases. Calling or walking into the clinic will not assist you in becoming a legal clinic client.

If you need criminal representation, you must request a public defender, either immediately after being arrested and taken to jail for booking or at some point shortly thereafter. You also have to fill out the state’s paperwork to qualify for a public defender.

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