Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

Apart from their assigned mod courses, 1L students may only enroll in courses offered as 1L electives. A complete list of these courses can be found on the 1L Elective Listings page. 1L students must use the 1L class number listed on the course description when enrolling.

231.5 sec. 001 - California Prisons and Discretionary Parole (Spring 2021)

Instructor: Keith Wattley  
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only

Units: 1
Grading Designation: Credit Only
Mode of Instruction: Remote Instruction


M 6:25 PM - 8:15 PM
Location: Internet/Online
From January 25, 2021
To May 03, 2021

Course Start: January 25, 2021
Course End: May 03, 2021
Class Number (1Ls): 32049
Class Number: 32049

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 17
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 20
As of: 05/08 05:45 AM

This is a one-unit course through which students learn a variety of practical legal skills while also learning how to advocate for people serving time in California prisons. Students interact with attorneys, experts, prison workers and people who are currently and formerly incarcerated. They also complete reading and writing assignments exposing them to the constantly-changing legal landscape of life inside California’s prison system.

Students will develop skills in working with clients from diverse backgrounds; document review and synthesis; and counseling clients preparing for administrative proceedings. Students are graded on a credit/no-credit basis, as determined by class participation and completion of several writing assignments, which may include: legal counseling memoranda and reflection memoranda following prison tours and observations of parole consideration hearings.

While not required, this course complements Berkeley Law’s Post-Conviction Advocacy Project (P-CAP), a student-initiated legal services project. P-CAP participants conduct in-depth, one-on-one meetings with clients housed at San Quentin and other prisons. They also interact with individuals and organizations in the community (e.g., family members of incarcerated persons, community service providers, etc.) to help clients develop residential, employment and after-care plans to address long-standing issues that contributed to past criminality. Students' P-CAP participation culminates in their appearance as certified law students representing clients appearing before the California parole board.

This course will meet every other week on these dates: January 25th, February 8th, February 22nd, March 8th, April 5th, April 19th, and May 3rd.

Course Instructor Keith Wattley is the Founder and Executive Director of UnCommon Law, a nonprofit law firm that provides counseling and legal services to people serving life sentences. He was an inaugural Obama Foundation Fellow and a current James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award recipient. Prior to launching UnCommon Law in 2006, Keith was a staff attorney at the Prison Law Office, a nonprofit law firm in Berkeley. He has represented thousands in impact litigation and individual matters. He has also trained hundreds of lawyers, law students and others. Keith supervises the Post-Conviction Advocacy Project at UC Berkeley School of Law and received the Law School's 2016 Kathi Pugh Award for Exceptional Mentorship.

Real-time attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.

Requirements Satisfaction:

Units from this class count towards the J.D. Experiential Requirement.

Exam Notes: (None) Class requires a series of papers, assignments, or presentations throughout the semester
Course Category: Criminal Law
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
Social Justice and Public Interest

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