This experiential program is designed to introduce students to practices and trends in modern prosecution practice. A partnership with the District of Columbia Office of Attorney General (OAG), this program will teach each student how to be an effective prosecutor by allowing students to work directly with OAG prosecutors in handling select juvenile and adult criminal cases pending in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. OAG prosecutors will teach students how to work through juvenile and adult criminal cases. Students will be assigned specific cases for which they will be responsible to handle in conjunction with the lead prosecutors from the beginning to the end of cases.
The work will include conducting legal research, drafting motions, investigating and evaluating cases, working with witnesses, and developing compelling arguments to further the cases. The program, through pre-trial work and a classroom component, will focus on helping students acquire and develop basic pre-trial and trial lawyering skills essential to effective prosecution. Students will become familiar with substantive legal principles that arise frequently in criminal prosecution, such as self-defense and aiding and abetting. Students will also learn how to work through ethical issues germane to juvenile and adult prosecution.

In addition, students will be taught how to analyze cases through the lens of a modern prosecutor. Students will learn about juvenile and adolescent brain development and its effect on deliquency. Students will also learn about alternatives to traditional prosecution, such as restorative justice and diversion. Through discussion with the course instructor and classroom guests, students will learn to think critically about how to reduce crime and positively impact the lives of the individuals connected to their cases. Students are expected to devote 16 hours per week to work in the OAG and attend a weekly, two hour, seminar designed to prepare students to work effectively and ethically in a prosecutor's office. Students will be required to complete assigned substantive writing projects related to their work. These projects will be evaluated by the instructor.

The number of students accepted into the program depends on the number of positions available at the OAG. Students must be two thirds through law school as per court rules.
  • Prerequisites for this course are Criminal Procedure and Evidence.
  • Grading is pass/fail.

Registration Information

To register, students must complete the DC Modern Prosecution Program Form and submit it to Dean Bryan McDermott at mcdermottb@law.edu.

In addition to consideration given to the responses provided in the application, preference in allocation of spots will be given as follows:

  1. Students who have not yet had a clinical experience.*
  2. By the date and time of submission of their application. 

*Across all categories, 3D and 4E students are given priority.

Questions? Email Dean McDermott at mcdermottb@law.edu.