Curriculum Guide · Courses
The Right to Counsel: Entitlements, Limits and the Client Experience
Professor Malia Brink
J.D. Practicum 1072 | 4 credit hours
What does it mean when a police officer says "if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you"? Since 1963, the Sixth Amendment right to counsel has been interpreted to require the states to provide counsel to any defendant who cannot afford to hire an attorney. The right to counsel thus became an entitlement right, which is very rare in the U.S. Constitution. In this seminar, we will explore the evolution and current parameters of the right to counsel, including: when counsel must be provided; what quality guarantee, if any, the right includes; impediments to the full functioning of the right; and efforts to expand the scope of the right. We will also explore how the right to counsel is experienced by those facing criminal charges by interviewing individuals who were represented by attorneys provided at public expense. The goals of the class are to understand the parameters of the right to counsel and issues regarding its implementation at both the macro and micro levels; to develop core practical skills including interviewing techniques and oral presentation skills; and to extrapolate lessons regarding the implementation of other entitlements and the role and ability of government.
Prerequisites: Students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).
Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic (except Street Law) or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.
THIS IS A PRACTICUM COURSE.