Law 715 - Criminal Defense Clinic

Julie Cramer

Julie Cramer

Lecturer in Law
B.A. UCLA, 2000
J.D. UCLA, 2003
UCLA Faculty Since 2009
Course Description:

UCLA School of Law’s Criminal Defense Clinic (“CDC”) examines the role of the defense lawyer in the criminal justice process. The central feature of this clinical course is the CDC’s work providing zealous, client-centered legal representation at different stages in the criminal process, including at trial and sentencing, as well as in collateral and post-conviction proceedings. The CDC frequently partners with a range of community groups, including defender organizations, nonprofits, and pro bono attorneys. In collaboration with community members and service providers, the CDC also takes on policy projects that address systemic criminal justice problems. A central focus of our work over the years has been addressing the increasing intersection between the criminal and immigration systems that impacts our clients and communities.

This graded, six-unit clinical course is limited to a maximum of eight students. Enrollment is by application. A significant out-of-class time commitment is required. The class seminar, which meets twice each week, covers both substantive and technical aspects of criminal defense practice.

For additional Information on the CDC, see the links below:

Gov. Brown Grants Pardons to Five Clients of UCLA Law Clinic (Criminal Defense Clinic, Jan. 22, 2019)

Course Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, students should gain an appreciation of the following concepts, which are central to understanding the criminal defense lawyer’s role:

•Engaged client-centered advocacy in the criminal defense context

•Ethical demands placed on the criminal defense lawyer in client counseling and case management

•The position of criminal defendants and their advocates within a criminal justice system that disproportionately affects the poor and people of color

•Applying principles of trauma-informed client counseling, while protecting against vicarious trauma and burnout


In addition, students should become proficient in the following practical lawyering skills:

•Gathering and analyzing facts to develop a coherent legal theory and a compelling case theme

•Engaging in interviewing and counseling of clients at different stages in case development

•Drafting a persuasive written document that presents the client’s most important arguments in a clear and concise style while addressing contrary arguments.

Course Information:
​Faculty Term Course Section ​Schedule ​Units Requisite Satisfies SAW
Ingrid Eagly / Julie Cramer 20S 715 LEC 1 TR 3:20 PM - 5:20 PM 6.0 No No
  Experiential course enrollment through separate process; deadline: Noon on 10/18/2019. See ENROLL.LAW.UCLA.EDU. Early drop deadline: 5:00pm on 1/6/2020.