Independent | Innovative | Inspiring


California Western --

Federal Defenders Office Clinical Placement

In our LL.M. degree program, the first semester provides students with the substantive knowledge and trial skills training they need to be successful in federal court. During the second semester, students are placed in a real-world environment to practice federal criminal defense under the supervision of experienced federal defenders. During clinical placement you have the opportunity to work alongside federal defenders, assist in the defense of people charged with federal crimes, and attend federal defender training programs.

Using the programís extensive contacts and track record, clinical placements can be arranged at most Federal Defenders office. Some of our students complete their internship in San Diego at Federal Defenders of San Diego, but many students choose to go to other parts of the country. We have relationships with federal defender offices across the United States and have placed students in a variety of locations including San Diego, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, Seattle, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The faculty closely monitors the clinical placement to insure the best experience possible for the students through journals and site visits. Our graduates tell us that the LL.M. program gave them the skills needed to complete any assignment given to them by their supervising attorneys.

At the end of the clinical internship, students return to San Diego to attend the week-long Federal CJA Trial Skills Academy in San Diego. Normally, only current Federal Defenders may participate in this program. Through our relationship with the Federal Defenders, we are able to make this opportunity available to our LL.M. degree students. Students attend lectures on the latest developments in federal criminal defense law and receive personalized instruction from some of the nationís leading defense attorneys.

In the end, students gain courtroom litigation experience and skills that are attractive to defender offices and private law firms. Students will have the opportunity for extensive client contact through client interviews and appearances. Employers value our training which is not typically offered through the usual JD coursework.

  • Recognized by the Judges Advocate General Corps (JAG)
  • Offers Exclusive Training by SD Federal Defenders Inc.
Learn More!

Complete this form to download a program Brochure and application and an Enrollment Advisor will contact you promptly.
We value your Privacy.
Still Accepting Applications for Fall 2013

Program Highlights
  • San Diego Federal Defenders Clinical Placement
  • All Faculty are Federal Defenders
  • Longest Established Trial Advocacy Program
  • Study on the beach!