The Poehls/Hobbs District Attorney Practicum offers students a year-long opportunity to receive courtroom experience while working in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office as a certified law clerk.
During their externship semester, students may conduct actual felony preliminary hearings, misdemeanor jury trials and juvenile adjudications. This courtroom experience comes after a semester of intensive advocacy training specifically focused on preparing the students for the types of courtroom work they will handle as DA externs. While the externship is in a prosecutorial office, the experience is beneficial for anyone interested in work as a courtroom lawyer including prosecution, criminal defense and civil litigation.
The program is competitive and interested students must submit an application the semester before they start the trial advocacy class. Based upon student applications and their performance in the interview, Professor Poehls selects the 12 students who will be admitted into the following semester’s trial advocacy class. In the first semester, students earn three graded units in the trial advocacy course. In the second semester, students can earn either 4 or 6 pass/ fail units (depending on whether they choose to work two or three full eight-hour days a week) for the DA externship and one graded unit for a DA Seminar class that meets twice towards the end of the semester.
Please click the link below for the District Attorney Performance Evaluation Form.
DA Externship Performance Evaluation - Once submitted, the form will be sent directly to Professor Poehls and you will receive a copy.
Faculty Advisor: Susan Poehls
If you were unable to attend the mandatory Zoom informational session on March 22, 2021, please click here to view the video.
Please click here for more information about the program.
Applications are currently being accepted for Fall 2021. Students should apply through Symplicity on the Practica webpage The deadline to apply is April 5, 2021 at 6 p.m.
"The Hobbs Clinic really brought me out of my shell in terms of public speaking, having a professional and commanding presence, and thinking on my feet.
These qualities allowed me to stand out to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office during a competitive hiring process. I use the skills and lessons the clinic taught me on a daily basis."
"With Hobbs, I was given extra practice on how to develop my own theory, plan my examinations, and run my own trial without coaches.
All of the techniques Professor Poehls taught me on the team and in her class worked, and I'm proud to say I won two of my three licensing hearings that summer."
-Christina Catapang '13
I was lucky enough to be hired as a post-bar law clerk for the L.A. D.A.'s office, and I know it was in large part because of all the experience I already had under my belt from the Hobbs/Poehls program. On my first day in the preliminary hearing unit in CCB, I walked into the office and 15 minutes later I had a D.A. hand me a file and ask, "You can do this, right?" I was nervous, but I was instantly taken back to Round 3 from class. I smiled and said "Sure, I'll do the prelim." The training from class has really come through, and the "Magic Words' are second nature now. I'm more prepared than some of the Grade 1 D.A.s that are freshly hired. Trust me, if you want to be in the D.A.'s office, take this class!