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LAW 0741: Criminal Litigation: Philadelphia District Attorney's Office Charging Unit
Spring 2018 • Section S21 • CRN 27469

Course Description

This externship will provide will provide third and fourth year evening division students with the hands on opportunity to work in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office Charging Unit. In doing so, students will gain experience applying Pennsylvania law to real cases. They will have the opportunity to learn about the current review process used by the Charging Unit including the crime investigative guidelines adopted by the Philadelphia Police Department and the procedural steps followed within the Philadelphia system when a defendant is arrested. Students will also learn about identification issues as they relate to charging decisions and discuss line-ups, photo arrays and other methods of identification. Students will consider the ethical and moral issues that a prosecutor confronts in making charging decisions and consider how the admissibility of evidence should effect the decision to charge someone with a crime. Students will be responsible (under supervision) for charging decisions in misdemeanor site arrests and arrest warrants in misdemeanor cases (the Charging ADA will approve the final charges). Students will also be responsible for review and approval of search warrants. Additionally, students will conduct arraignment court and advocate on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for appropriate bail.


Schedule To Be Announced

Additional Time Requirements

To be determined

Course Details

  • Richard Boyd
Credit Hours

3 Credits



Course Type
  • Externship
Course Modality


Fulfills J.D. Requirement
  • Experiential/Professional Skills

Registration Info

Registration Notes

Students must complete a minimum of 10 hours each week of the semester of experiential work, classroom learning, or out of class assignments. The classroom component for this externship will meet on Thursdays from 6 pm to 8 pm. There will also be a full day meeting early in the semester.


You must have completed the following courses before enrolling in this course:

  • LAW 0532 (Criminal Procedure I)

Book List/Materials