Programs, Symposia, and Special Events

The Institute offers outstanding programs and presentations like the ones AUWCL has consistently offered over the years. Programs and seminars bring together diverse groups to discuss issues and craft solutions to common problems that plague the criminal justice system.

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Upcoming Events

"So You Want to be a Public Defender?" - October 19, 2016

Come and hear from WCL alumni and friends who will discuss their experiences as defenders, give advice, and answer questions. The event is from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in Room N102. All are welcome! Please RSVP to Lisa Flores at There will be pizza for those who RSVP!


Past Events

Gideon's Promise Law School Partnership Project (LSSP) - October 4, 2016

Professors Angela Davis and Jenny Robert encourages anyone interested in public defender work  in the south to come to an important information session about WCL’s partnership with the Gideon’s Promise Law School Partnership Project (LSSP) on October 4th from 12 – 1:15 in Room NT02.  Applications for LSSP are due on October 21st!

Gideon’s Promise is an organization dedicated to assuring that every individual facing criminal charges receives adequate legal representation regardless of economic status. Through continuing education, ongoing mentorships, and strategic partnerships, the organization gives public defenders the tools they need to provide the highest quality public defense in their communities.  The Law School Partnership Project involves law schools, Gideon’s Promise, and selected defender offices.  WCL has participated in this program for the past two years.  Gideon’s Promise provides top-notch training and promises to place graduates in public defender offices across the South. The defender offices guarantee that within the first year, the graduate will be moved into a full-time position. By providing support upfront, the law school helps graduates secure permanent employment and acquire the training and support they need to become public defenders in challenging environments.  WCL graduates who participated in this program are currently working in public defender offices in St. Tammany Parish and Lafayette, LA; Memphis and Nashville, TN; and Robeson County, NC.

More information is at . The offices where LSSP students may be placed are:  Birmingham and Montgomery, AL; Augusta, GA; Charlotte and Lumberton, NC; New Orleans, Covington and Lafayette, LA; Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville, TN; Columbia, SC; El Paso, TX and Sioux Falls, SD.  The application is at the link above, and we encourage everyone to read the materials before coming to our information session.

Criminal Law Externship Fair - October 5, 2016

The Institute and the Externship Office are co-sponsoring this event for 2L/3L/4L students interested in pursuing a career in criminal law. The Externship Office has invited a wide range of state, local and federal defender, prosecutor and law enforcement agencies, as well as a number of criminal justice policy and criminal justice reform organizations. This event is limited is separate from the externship fair, and will focus solely on placing upper-level students in criminal law-related externships. The Criminal Law Externship Fair will be held on October 5, 2016 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Claudio Grossman Hall. Please see the flyer below for more details.

"So You Want to be a Prosecutor?" - October 13, 2016

The Institute and the Criminal Law Practitioner are co-sponsoring this event for all students to attend. If you are interested in learning more about the opportunities available as a prosecutor, and some of the positions that WCL alumni are currently in, come to NT01 on October 13, 2016 from 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Pizza will be served! Check out the flyer below for more information about the event. No registration is required to attend.


Criminal Law Career Counseling - September 11, 2014, 4 - 7 p.m.

In partnership with the Externship Office, the Institute will co-host an event to provide individualized career counseling for a limited number WCL students interested in pursuing criminal law careers. We have recruited approximately 20 criminal law professionals-WCL alums and current WCL faculty-to provide one-on-one career counseling and advice to students. During these one-on-one sessions, the faculty and alumni will be available to review your updated resume, provide academic counseling, and help you establish a path to a career in criminal law. If you would like to participate, you will need to submit your updated resume (in PDF format) by September 1st to criminaljusticeinstitute@wcl.american.ed. Be sure to specify in the email if you have limited availability, and we will try to accommodate your schedule. Prior to the September 11th event, we will submit your resume to one of the volunteer counselors. You will then be notified of the exact time of your counseling session and the person you are scheduled to meet with. This event will be held in the 6th Floor student lounges, and you should wear professional attire. Enrollment is limited and you are strongly encouraged to participate in this event if you plan to participate in the criminal law externship fair on September 19th (see below).

Fall Conference - October 18 -19, 2013

Gideon's Army - Friday, October 18th, 2013
5:30 - 9:00PM

Conference participants are invited to enjoy a complimentary buffet dinner while watching "Gideon's Army," the critically acclaimed HBO documentary that depicts the struggles of public defenders and the indigent defense delivery system in America. Dean Claudio Grossman will offer introductory remarks and a panel discussion moderated by Prof. Cynthia Jones immediately following the film will include: Dawn Porter, Director & Producer of "Gideon's Army" ; June Hardwick, a defense attorney featured in Gideon's Army, Jonathan Rapping, Director of Gideon's Promise, the public defender training program prominently featured in Gideon's Army; and Campbell Roth (WCL 2011), a Gideon's Promise graduate.

Click here for the full Fall Conference Schedule

The Trayvon Martin Tragedy: A Teach-In and Legal Discussion Forum

The controversial case surrounding the death of Trayvon Martin captured national and international attention, and raised numerous legal and political questions about the American criminal justice system. AUWCL hosted a teach-in and important legal discussion about the case.


The American Prosecutor - Power, Discretion and Accountability

A panel hosted at AUWCL addresses the ethical responsibilities of prosecutors, what is meant by "prosecutorial misconduct" and whether it is a widespread problem, and what systems are in place to prevent and/or detect misconduct and discipline errant prosecutors.