Making a Difference
Students in the Criminal Practice Clinic stand up for the rights of low-income individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses in New Hampshire courts. The students, who are certified to practice under New Hampshire Supreme Court Rule 36, represent clients in court, and work under the direct supervision of Clinical Professor Richard Samdperil, a criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years of trial experience.
Clinic students gain practical experience through courtroom advocacy. They represent clients in the circuit and superior courts at bail hearings, pretrial motion hearings, bench trials, jury trials, sentencing hearings, and post-conviction proceedings. They may also work with clients in federal court. Students engage in all aspects of legal representation, such as client interviews, factual investigations, motion practice, negotiations with the prosecutor, and direct and cross-examination of witnesses. Clinic cases include drug offenses, theft and burglary charges, misdemeanor and felony assault allegations, and driving offenses.
In addition to courtroom experience, students also complete an intensive, practice-based class that includes hearing and trial simulations, and presentations by experienced prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges. The basic and advanced Criminal Practice Clinics are often the capstone experience for students aspiring to be prosecutors or public defenders.
Recognizing the value of this clinical experience, the New Hampshire Public Defender program requires completion of the Criminal Practice Clinic by summer interns. Upon graduation, students have secured employment with prosecution or public defender offices from New Hampshire to Alaska.
The Criminal Practice Clinic is located at 94 Washington Street in Concord, New Hampshire.
Mail should be directed to 2 White Street, Concord, NH 03301. The telephone number is (603) 228-0643.