Federal Fraud Prosecution (FIELDWORK PRACTICUM)
Professors Edmonds and Perkins
J.D. Practicum 1118
| 5 credit hours
In fieldwork practicum courses, students participate in weekly seminars and conduct related fieldwork at outside organizations. This fieldwork practicum course will focus on the law, theory, and practice of federal fraud prosecutions. The primary teaching goal is for the students to experience the complexity and challenges of investigating economic crime, with particular emphasis on how abstract legal theories impact actual prosecution of white-collar crime. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 15 hours/week of fieldwork in the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
SEMINAR: In the two-credit, graded, seminar portion of the practicum, co-taught by Adjunct Professor Nathaniel Edmonds (a former Assistant Chief of the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice) and Adjunct Professor Laura Perkins (a Senior Trial Attorney in the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice), students will study subjects including the role of the prosecutor, complex economic crime investigation techniques, charging decisions, pre-trial resolutions, discovery issues, trial-related issues, and the law governing various types of federal fraud cases. The classes will involve interactive discussions, as well as the review and interpretation of statutes, regulations, legal precedent, actual criminal filings, and DOJ guidance memoranda. Students will be required to email the professors six weekly reflection memos in advance of class so that the professors can help students integrate their classroom learning with their professional experiences in the field. The professors will identify for each student one issue identified in the reflection memos that may enable the class as a whole to better understand the intersection between theory and practice, and will ask each student to make one 10-15 minute presentation analyzing the issue. The grade for the seminar will be determined by (1) the six weekly reflection memos; (2) the 10-15 minute oral presentation; and (3) class participation.
FIELDWORK: In the three-credit, mandatory pass-fail, fieldwork portion of the practicum, students will work for at least 15 hours per week in the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and will be assigned to one of three units within the Fraud Section: the Corporate, Securities, and Financial Institution Fraud Unit; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Unit; or the Health Care Fraud Unit. Student assignments to a particular unit will be made by the professors, who will take student preferences into account but cannot guarantee that all preferences can be accommodated. Students will be assisting prosecutors in the investigation and prosecution of complex economic crimes, and their projects may include analysis of pending legal issues, assistance in drafting motions or other legal filings, investigatory work to identify key facts critical to ongoing issues, and legal analysis of potential legislative reforms or other policy issues. The fieldwork will be managed by experienced federal prosecutors under the direction of Senior Trial Attorney and Adjunct Professor Laura Perkins.
Prerequisite: Criminal Justice (or the equivalent Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.
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 Property, or their first-year elective).
Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and an externship or a clinic or another practicum course.
Students who wish to receive credit for the Externship Seminar and a practicum course that has the same field placement may do so only if: (1) the practicum course is taken in a semester following the Externship Seminar; and (2) the student receives permission from the Assistant or the Associate Dean for Clinical Programs. To receive such permission, the student must explain in writing how the practicum course field work would serve substantially different learning goals than did their externship field placement.
This course is open to J.D. students only.
This course is suitable for evening students who can commit to regularly attending class and working 15 hours/week (during business hours) on site at the Department of Justice.
The class will be enrolled by professor permission. To apply, please send a resume and brief statement of interest (max. 1 page) to Professor Perkins at Laura.Perkins@usdoj.gov by 5pm on Monday, October 28. Students will be informed of their admittance by 5pm on October 30 and must accept their seat in the class by 5pm on November 1. The Department of Justice will require students to submit to a security/background check. Because this check will take, at a minimum, six weeks, all admitted students will be required to fill out and submit the required paperwork by November 8. A student may NOT use the Add/Drop period to drop this course and may withdraw his or her acceptance of the course ONLY with permission from the professors. Permission will be granted only where remaining enrolled in the course would cause significant hardship to the student. The Department of Justice also requires that once students receive their security/background clearance, they attend an orientation session.
This is a five credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and three credits for approximately 15 hours of supervised fieldwork per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks, to be scheduled with the faculty. The fieldwork must be completed during normal business hours. The two-credit seminar portion of this practicum will be graded. The three credits of fieldwork are mandatory pass/fail and count toward the pass/fail limit. Students will be allowed to take another course pass/fail in the same semester as the fieldwork.
Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork components and may not take either component separately. A student who receives permission to withdraw from the course will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.
Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.
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