Criminal Clinic

The Criminal Clinic was created in 1976 to provide SMU law students litigation skills training by representing indigent defendants facing misdemeanor criminal prosecution in Dallas County Criminal Courts.

Through the Criminal Clinic, students gain practical experience in client communication, legal research and writing, maintaining a case file, developing and implementing case strategy, plea negotiations, and both motions and trial practice.  Students operate under supervising attorneys Mike McCollum and Brook Busbee and their combined over 70 years of criminal defense work, ranging from misdemeanors to capital cases in both State and Federal Court.  

The Criminal Clinic provides useful skills training regardless of the area of law in which students seek to practice after graduation.  Service in the Clinic also creates tremendous, career long, networking opportunities, with more than 1000 clinic “alums” working in a variety of practice areas in the Metroplex and throughout Texas.

The Criminal Clinic is a 6 credit hour course.  The Clinic accepts up to 12 students for the fall and spring semester and up to 5 students for the summer semester. Before regular classes begin, all students undergo an intensive and required orientation program.  During the fall and spring semester up to four law students who previously completed the clinic will serve as Chief Litigation Counsel, a 3 credit hour course.  Chief Litigation Counsel are responsible for reviewing all cases with the current students and assisting with case strategy development and execution.


Contact Information

Faculty and Staff

Christopher Jenks
Director of the Criminal Clinic and Associate Professor of Law

Mike McCollum
Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law, Criminal Clinic

Debora Garcia Sanchez

Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law, Criminal Clinic

Gloria Zapata
Administrative Assistant
Criminal, Innocence, Patent, 
Small Business, Tax, and Trademark Clinics

Mailing Address

SMU Dedman School of Law
P.O. Box 750116
Dallas, TX 75275-0116

Physical Address

SMU Dedman School of Law
3315 Daniel Avenue, Suite 30
Dallas, TX 75205