Beyond the Books - A Career in Criminal Law

About the Speakers

Sajid Khan

Sajid A. Khan, Deputy Alternate Defender

 Sajid Khan graduated from San Jose High School in 1999 and then from UC Berkeley in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science. He went on to attend UC Hastings College of the Law where he graduated in 2007 with a Juris Doctorate Degree with a Public Interest Law Concentration.

 In 2008, he served as a Deputy Public Defender in Contra Costa County in Richmond, Ca. He has worked as a Deputy Public Defender in Santa Clara County in San Jose, CA since July of 2008.  As a public defender in both offices, he has represented clients in adult and juvenile misdemeanor and felony matters and is now handling homicides.

 Sajid maintains a blog at and is a contributing author for the National Association for Public Defense (


Beth McGowen

Beth McGowen, Santa Clara County Judge

 Judge Beth McGowen began her legal career at McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen. She began as a litigation associate, became counsel and then partner. Judge McGowen continued as a partner after the firm became Bingham McCutchen. Judge McGowen tried a variety of cases including intellectual property, healthcare, general commercial litigation and trade secret matters. She served as the firm’s National Hiring Partner and Office Hiring Partner for eleven years. She is also a past member of the Board of Directors for the Silicon Valley Law Foundation and the Santa Clara County Bar Association’s Women Lawyers Committee.   Governor Schwarzenegger appointed her to the bench in 2009. Her judicial assignments have included criminal, juvenile justice, domestic violence and civil trials. She served on the South County Mayors' Gang Task Force and several Court Committees including the Strategic Planning Committee, the Domestic Violence Committee, the Education Committee, and the Grant Committee.  Judge McGowen was selected at the 2015 Women Lawyers’ Section Honoree by the Santa Clara County Bar Association.


Demetricia Sampson

Demetricia Sampson, Deputy District Attorney 

 Demetricia Sampson is a Deputy District Attorney with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. She is currently a member of the Central Misdemeanor Unit, prosecuting an array of misdemeanor cases. Ms. Sampson graduated cum laude from San Jose State University in 2011. While a student at SJSU, she participated in the Mock Trial and Intramural Debate. In 2009, she received the President’s Award for her 4.0 GPA. Ms. Sampson earned her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2014. Ms. Sampson was the staff editor and writing competition coordinator for the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal from 2012 –2013. She was awarded the Best Oral Argument Award, Moot Court in 2012. In 2013, she received the CALI Award Highest Grade in Trial Advocacy, and an Advanced CA Legal Research Certificate.

 Ms. Sampson began her career at the Santa Clara County Office of the District Attorney as a summer law clerk in 2012. She returned the following year as a 2L honors summer legal clerk. In 2014, Ms. Sampson was a post-bar honors law clerk. In 2015, she was a Post Bar Clerk until she became a volunteer attorney. As a San Jose native, Ms. Sampson is driven to serve her community. Ms. Sampson said, “being a prosecutor puts into action my dream of seeking justice and developing my community into a safer place.”