Criminal Defense Clinic
The Criminal Defense Clinic is dedicated to serving the Lubbock community by representing defendants in criminal cases who would otherwise be unable to afford their own legal representation. The Criminal Defense Clinic recognizes that being accused of a crime is a difficult circumstance for an individual and his or her loved ones. At every stage of a case, the Clinic's goal is to provide zealous, client-centered representation. The Criminal Defense Clinic emphasizes the importance of social issues relevant to criminal defense, such as the intersection of poverty, race and crime, the increasing importance of immigration concerns in the criminal defense context, and the Supreme Court cases affecting the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendment rights of criminal defendants.
Students accepted into this clinic will have the opportunity to represent clients facing felony, misdemeanor and juvenile offenses in Lubbock County. By the end of each semester each student will have represented at least 4 clients. Students are fully responsible for their cases, from intake to disposition. Students usually begin their cases with jail consultations. Students go to the jail to meet with newly arrested clients and argue for their release on bond. Students then investigate their client's case, develop a case strategy, and negotiate with a prosecuting attorney about possible plea bargains. Students may have the opportunity to represent their clients at a jury trial, where students pick the jury, make opening statements and closing arguments, and direct and cross-examine witnesses. Through their case work, students are able to learn first-hand about the many dimensions of the client-lawyer relationship, from the initial interview, to case investigation, to final resolution of the criminal charges. Student are supervised at all stages of their cases by Professor Patrick S. Metze and Clinic Fellow Dwight McDonald. The Clinic works closely with members of the local and state bars to expose students to professional development, networking, and Continuing Legal Education (CLE) opportunities while still in law school.
The classroom component of the Clinic focuses on skills development, ethics, and case strategy, and is taught by Professor Patrick S. Metze. Students also have the opportunity to hone their writing skills by drafting a multitude of motions and briefs relating to their cases.
How We Started
The Criminal Defense Clinic started in the Fall of 2004 under the direction of Professor Larry Cunningham. The current Director of Criminal Clinics, Patrick S. Metze, began in the Fall 2007 as an adjunct professor joining the faculty full time in May 2008. Professor Metze is now the Director of all four criminal clinics and holds the position of Professor with tenure. In addition to the Criminal Defense Clinic, Tech Law offers opportunities to learn criminal law in the Caprock Public Defender Office and Clinic, the Capital Punishment Clinic and the new in-house Innocence Clinic.
The Criminal Defense Clinic is committed to producing excellent attorneys who are sensitive to addressing the needs of people and communities that are traditionally underserved and under-represented by the legal profession. The Criminal Defense Clinic shall zealously represent those indigents charged with felonies, misdemeanors and juvenile offenses in Lubbock County. The Criminal Defense Clinic is dedicated to providing our clients with professional, responsive, and courteous treatment at all stages of their case.