Prosecutor (State Attorney) Program

Credit: 9-12 credits

Number of Positions: There are currently 6-9 placements available in Tallahassee, Quincy, Monticello and Crawfordville. In addition, numerous other state attorney offices throughout the state encourage student participation (details from Clinical Externship Program office).

Students are supervised in representation of the state in criminal cases. Activities generally include client interviewing, plea negotiation, motion practice, and hearings or trials as available.*

The Perspectives segment of the Prosecutor/Defender program is substantial throughout the semester. It includes daily reflective journals, regular reports, web-based discussions based on review of the Criminal Practice (Clinic) materials, and other interaction with the faculty supervisor. 

Prerequisites: Students must have satisfactorily completed Evidence, Professional Responsibility and the Criminal Practice Clinic course (“S” grade generally required). Criminal Procedure—Police is also required unless student obtains a written waiver, when applying for the Criminal Practice Clinic (CPC) course, from Professor Krieger.  Students must also have clearance from The Florida Bar and be certified pursuant to the Student Practice Rule.   The Externship office pursues certification (CLI status) on behalf of eligible students once they are confirmed to participate in the Externship during a specific semester. One or two students who were not admitted to the CPC course may be permitted to do this externship for 6 credits. See Criminal Practice Clinic, note 2.

Strongly Recommended Courses: Florida Criminal Practice, and Criminal Procedure—Adjudication.

Selection Process: The selection of externs is handled by the faculty supervisor, subject to the approval of the participating offices.

*Interested students should be aware that these externships, like the actual work of a prosecutor or public defender, involve a large amount of case processing, plea negotiations, and the like.  A student’s time is therefore not primarily spent in trials, and this reflects the reality of a prosecutor or defender in practice.  Because these are high-credit programs, during the externship semester there is also a substantial amount of reporting (daily journal, monthly reports, etc.), and Web discussion with other students.

Objectives and Methods