Criminal Law

Criminal Law Externships

Available to: 3rd year students only, 2-semester commitment
Course: 3 credits, Fall through Spring
Placement: 5 credits, Fall through Spring

Criminal Guidelines

Forms for students

Criminal externships focus on the practice of criminal law (including case preparation, oral advocacy, court procedures, and ethics); the role and function of prosecutors and defense attorneys; and the criminal justice system.  Students appear as prosecutors and defense attorneys in misdemeanor cases and assist in felony trials.  Criminal externships are a two semester commitment (Fall & Spring) and are open to third year students only.

Prerequisites: Evidence, Trial Advocacy, Legal Professions and Criminal Procedure. (Trial Advocacy meets the Experiential Requirement for graduation.)  Students should take all courses  during the 2nd year.  Enrollment preference will be given to students who have completed all prerequisites.  Students may be permitted to enroll concurrently in the Clinic and Trial Advocacy only on a “space available” basis and with professor permission.

Course: Criminal Process (3 cr., graded, Year-long) includes lecture, discussion and role-playing exercises to prepare students for handling criminal cases.  This course also explores discrete issues within the criminal justice system, considers the lawyers’ roles in this system and considers criminal justice issues from a social science perspective.  Students prepare short answers to mock problems, complete a research project or research paper, and reflect upon their practice experiences in writing and class discussion.  This course must be taken during both Fall and Spring Semesters and is not open to other students without instructor permission.  Meets the Experiential Requirement for graduation.

Placements: (5 cr., P/F; Fall through Spring Semester) Students are placed based upon student preferences, with conflicts of interest due to clerkships accommodated.  Typical placements include:


U.S. Attorney’s Office (misdemeanors only)
Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office
Tooele County and Utah County Prosecutors’ Offices
City Prosecutors’ Offices


Salt Lake Legal Defender Association
Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys
Utah County Public Defenders

Other prosecuting or public defense offices may be approved as needed.

Faculty: Ann Marie Taliaferro and Sandi Johnson

Registration & Placement: To enroll in the Criminal Process class and apply for externship placement, students must complete the application form to specify placement preference and submit it with their résumé and a short statement of interest.

LAW 7990-001: Criminal Process                                         Fall – Spring: Fridays, 12:05 – 1:20 p.m.

LAW 7991-001 Criminal Clinic                                              Fall – Spring (5 credits)

Additional work completed as a Defender in a criminal externship WILL APPLY to the Pro Bono Initiative certificate