For Students

Upon application, four students will be invited to participate to work with the Regional Public Defenders Office for Capital Cases located in Lubbock The students will work with the attorneys, mitigators, investigators and other professionals in helping to represent those facing the death penalty. Using cutting edge techniques and applying their legal education to a wide variety of activities, students will investigate culpability facts and punishment mitigation, interview clients and witnesses, use their legal research and writing skills, and study team building, restorative justice, criminal procedure and substantive criminal law.

Students are closely supervised at all stages of their cases by Professor Patrick S. Metze and the Chief Public Defender for Capital Cases, Adjunct Professor Jack Stoffregen. The classroom component will continue the studentís study of capital punishment jurisprudence focusing on skills development, ethics, and case strategy in real on-going capital cases. This clinic requires a significant commitment of time which will return a unique, experiential opportunity for third year students as they approach the end of their legal education.


  • 3L Status
  • Capital Punishment Seminar offered in the Fall semester each year
  • Recommended: Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Professional Responsibility, Texas Criminal Procedure, Trial Advocacy, and/or moot court or mock trial experience.


  • Students cannot be on scholastic probation
  • Students cannot be previously or concurrently enrolled in another clinic or externship
  • Students may not have outside employment (although exceptions can be made)
  • Students may not sit for the February bar exam
  • Enrollment is by application and invitation only