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Criminal Law Fellowship Program’s 2018-2019 Practitioner Presentation Series Launches

October 17, 2018

The Criminal Law Fellowship Program’s 2018-19 practitioner presentation series got off to a flying start with two guest speakers in the last week. Professor Anders Kaye, Co-Director of the Criminal Law Fellowship Program, presided over the events.


On Thursday, October 11, guest speaker Chryseis Starros, Deputy District Attorney for San Diego, spoke to more than twenty Criminal Law Fellows about criminal prosecution, vividly articulating the powerful connections between prosecuting crime, the pursuit of justice, and vindicating the victims of crime.  Ms. Starros also brought to vibrant life the insurance fraud cases she now specializes in, describing a colorful array of cons and scams, as well as the mistakes offenders make that lead (in the end) to their detection and conviction. Fellows talked at length with Ms. Starros about the steps she took on her way to becoming a DDA, what it takes to find a job in criminal prosecution today, how prosecutors exercise their discretion, and numerous other aspects of the work prosecutors do.  Senior Criminal Law Fellow Patty Madison introduced Ms. Starros, praising her not just as an attorney, but also as a mentor for students working with the District Attorney’s Office. 


On Monday,Ocotber 15,  guest speaker Ted Cropley, Deputy Attorney General, California Department of Justice — and long-time Thomas Jefferson adjunct professor — gave Fellows an intensive, in-depth introduction to prosecutorial appellate work, with a special emphasis on appeals in cases involving the death penalty.  Along the way, Professor Cropley helped Fellows think about their own professional aspirations by highlighting several ways in which appellate work may differ from trial work, including the distinctive professional and personal traits it favors and its potential for broad and lasting impact on the development of the law.  Professor Cropley also took a critical look at California’s death penalty process, noting some of the ways that process may frustrate both supporters and opponents of the death penalty, and suggesting some ways in which we might approach reforming the system.  And he talked in detail with Fellows about what law students should do during their law school years if they are passionate about working as prosecutors or with an Attorney General’s Office.  


Together, Ms. Starros and Professor Cropley presented the Fellows a comprehensive introduction to the work that prosecutors do at both the trial and appellate levels.  For information about Thomas Jefferson’s Criminal Law Fellows Program, contact Professor Anders Kaye: