Categories: Criminal Defense
Students will work at the Georgia Justice Project (GJP) office in the Old Fourth Ward near the King Center. With over 25 years of experience, GJP has pioneered something unique - legal services combined with social services and employment support for the neediest among us, poor people. Externs work side by side with our criminal defense attorney, criminal records attorney, policy director and advocacy attorney, and staff.
GJP promotes innovative change through direct legal representation, policy advocacy, education and coalition building. GJP externs may be assisting with all three facets of legal representation at GJP - (1) criminal defense; (2) criminal records; and (3) policy advocacy.
- Criminal Defense: GJP provides representation to indigent criminal defendants in municipal, state and superior court (felonies and misdemeanors). Students work in preparing all aspects of a case. During the semester, students will assist in interviewing potential clients, gathering information from court and police personnel, visiting crime scenes, interviewing witnesses, negotiating with probation officers and district attorneys, legal research, writing and filing motions, and observing in court proceedings.
- Criminal Records: GJP assists clients whose criminal record acts as a barrier to opportunities, such as employment and housing. We do so by filing applications for record restriction (expungement) of their criminal records, as well as filing related Motions and Petitions. Work can also include making corrections to criminal histories and applying for pardons. In addition to these tasks, students may also assist with legal research and writing needs related to criminal records issues.
- Policy Advocacy: GJP’s policy work aims to remove the legal barriers faced by those with a criminal record. GJP has established itself as a subject matter expert with legislators by providing factual data and first-hand testimony about the impact of Georgia’s laws on low-wealth individuals with a criminal record. GJP’s current priorities are to improve pardons and the First Offender Act in Georgia.
Prerequisites: Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, or Evidence
Preferences: Second year students are eligible. Third year students will be given preference.
- A flexible schedule is helpful to accommodate the court schedules of the cases on which the student may be assisting.
- Students who currently work or who are doing externship programs with any prosecuting or investigative agency are not eligible to participate in this externship.