Criminal Clinic

The Criminal Clinic was created in 1976 to provide SMU Dedman School of Law students the opportunity to represent indigent defendants facing criminal prosecution in Dallas County Criminal Courts.

Students enrolled in the Criminal Clinic provide representation to indigent individuals facing misdemeanor and felony criminal consequences in Dallas County, including such charges as theft, DWI, criminal trespass, unlawful carry, assault, and even revocation of felony probation. The Clinic's areas of representation are not confined to these specific examples; the clinic has for almost half a century adapted to the needs of the current and contemporary Dallas community.

Exhaustive involvement with clients and intensive case management affords Student State Bar Associate Members unique insight into the many complex facets of the criminal justice system. Further, the clinic allows them to hone a wide range of lawyering skills, including analytical and practical skills, that are then put to work in service to the Dallas community and Dallas County's indigent defendants. Clinic services include but are not limited to, interviewing and counseling clients, negotiating with the State, fact development and analysis, strategic case planning, conflict resolution and decision making, motion and trial practice, drafting motions and pre-trial representation, voire dire presentation, organization and management of legal work, and (of course) supervised representation in Dallas County criminal courtrooms. Student State Bar Associate Members take the lead in all aspects of their casework and are working hard year-round in service to the community.

Contact Information

Faculty and Staff

Debora Garcia Sanchez
Acting Director and Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law, Criminal Clinic

Mike McCollum
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