The Investigator Program contributes substantially to the Criminal Practice’s delivery of zealous client representation. Investigators within the Criminal Practice work with attorneys, social workers, paralegals and other professional staff to investigate and prepare cases for court.
The investigators come from various backgrounds, including retired police officers, retired corrections officers, and criminal justice undergraduate and graduate students. Investigators assist attorneys on their cases through various investigative tasks, including going to crime scenes, locating and interviewing witnesses, taking photographs to support investigations, attending line-ups, testifying in court, serving motions and subpoenas, traveling with attorneys to crime scenes, providing accurate, detailed reports on investigations, and assisting attorneys in voluntary surrenders.
The Criminal Practice has also developed an Investigator Internship Program for undergraduate and graduate students. The program, which operates throughout the year, is an innovative, hands-on, in-the-field experience for these students, and the students are enormously helpful to the Criminal Practice. Intern investigators assist lawyers in investigating the facts of their cases and preparing for trial. Working in teams of two, interns’ duties include locating witnesses, conducting interviews, obtaining written statements, performing criminal background checks, visiting crime scenes, serving subpoenas, preparing trial exhibits, and testifying in court.
The Criminal Practice provides both full-time investigators and investigator interns with a thorough initial training and with regular, ongoing training. The training curriculum includes: the legal system, civil law, criminal justice, criminal law, constitutional law, and theories of defense. There is a skills component to the training that includes such areas as case management and organization, understanding system-wide case-flow, interviewing techniques, requirements for taking formal written statements, and serving subpoenas.