Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Liberty Law Institutes Prosecution Clinic

Liberty Law School mock courtroom.

Liberty University School in Lynchburg has launched the new Law Prosecution Clinic, giving students an opportunity to actively engage in the criminal justice system. From initial arraignments to motion hearings, trials and appeals, the students’ experiences went beyond mere observation as each student prosecuted actual cases.

In a unique partnership with the Bedford Commonwealth Attorney, the Clinic exposes students to the real-life, real-time work of a prosecutor. Students are challenged to think critically about the role of the prosecutor in the criminal justice system while learning what it means to balance morality with power. According to student Matthew Falwell, “The important lessons learned working in the Commonwealth Attorney's office could not have been learned in a classroom setting anywhere.”

The Clinic provides students with an opportunity to actively engage in prosecution while earning academic credit. Students work directly under the supervision of a faculty member and the Commonwealth Attorney and receive additional classroom instruction with an emphasis on ethics, forensic science, case preparation, and jury instructions.

Student training also includes an emphasis on the integral role of the broader community to the prosecution process including law enforcement, witness protection and social services.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, says, “Clinics are a critical and essential step towards the transition from student to practitioner as we continue to train a new generation of leaders grounded in the rule of law from a Christian perspective.”

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