Criminal Defense Clinic

The St. John’s Law School Criminal Defense Clinic (”CDC”) is a full-year partner clinic through which students explore the defense side of criminal practice.

CDC students represent indigent persons accused of committing misdemeanor and other minor offenses. Students are assigned to work in either Kings County under the supervision of Brooklyn Defender Services (“BDS”) or in Queens County under the supervision of The Legal Aid Society Queens Criminal Defense Trial Office (“LASQns”)

Students selected for the CDC carry their own caseload of clients pursuant to a Student Practice Order that allows them to represent individuals in Criminal Court under the supervision of a designated mentor-attorney. CDC students assume all the duties of a criminal defense lawyer and handle all aspects of their clients’ cases from arraignment to disposition of the case. This includes the initial client interview, representing the client at the arraignment in Criminal Court, bail applications and hearings, case investigations, discovery, writing, filing and arguing motions on behalf of the client, conducting pre-trial hearings, plea negotiations and representing the client at all court appearances, including any trial on the charges.

The CDC is available to up to fourteen students who have completed two (2) semesters at the Law School, have taken the course in Criminal Law, and are in good academic standing.

CDC Students must work at least fourteen (14) hours a week at their defender organization and must also participate in the weekly seminar each semester. CDC Students receive 4 letter-graded credits each semester. Grades are based on student performance at the placement site and in the seminar.

Clinic participation satisfies the Advanced Practice Writing Requirement.


Charles S. Bobis
Adjunct Professor of Law
Professor of Law (Retired)