Concentrations & Certificates

Criminal Justice (Concentration)

The Criminal Justice Concentration is designed for two groups of students: those who are considering beginning their legal careers as prosecutors or criminal defense counsel and those who may not have an express interest in criminal practice, but who are nonetheless seeking a course of study structured to provide training in the range of skills necessary to the practice of law in most substantive areas – particularly including legal analysis, factual investigation, counseling, negotiation and the persuasive arts employed in written and oral advocacy.

The principal components of the concentration are:

  • A set of required courses introducing the fundamentals of substantive criminal law and procedure, as well as evidence, professional ethics and basic trial skills
  • A set of electives divided between advanced substantive and procedural aspects of the criminal process and skills training courses
  • A capstone experience consisting of either a live-client clinic or a course employing complex simulation exercises.

Course Requirements

Total Credits Required: 29-36

Required Courses

Credits Required: 20-21

Criminal Law (4)
Criminal Procedure (3)
Criminal Justice Administration (3)
Evidence (4)
Trial Practice (3-4)
Only the full-semester, three -or four – credit versions of Trial Practice – not the intersession version -count toward the Criminal Justice Concentration.
Professional Responsibility (3)


Credits Required: 6-9

Three courses totaling at least six credits from the following groups (A, B and C), including at least two credits each from A and C. Students are strongly encouraged, but not required, to take courses that include significant training in at least two of three skill areas – counseling, negotiation and fact investigation.

A. Courses on Post-Conviction Process

Collateral Consequences of Sentencing (2-3)

Death Penalty Law (in its non-simulation configuration) (3)
A student could take Death Penalty in its simulation form to satisfy the post-conviction process requirement AND allow take another capstone to fulfill the capstone requirement. However, the same Death Penalty course could not fulfill both requirements.

Wrongful Convictions (2-3)
A student who took Wrongful Convictions without participating in the Innocence Project Clinic could use the Wrongful Convictions class to satisfy the post-conviction process requirement, but a student who took Wrongful Convictions as a part of the Innocence Project Clinic and sought credit for the clinic as a capstone experience could not count Wrongful Convictions as satisfying the post-conviction process requirement.

Sentencing Law (3)
A student could take Sentencing in its simulation form to satisfy the post-conviction process requirement AND take another capstone to fulfill the capstone requirement, but the same Sentencing course could not fulfill both requirements.

Law of Habeas Corpus and other Collateral Attacks on Conviction (2-3)

B. Substantive Law Courses with Criminal Components

Securities Regulation (3)
Children and the Law (2-3)
Antitrust Law (3)
Civil Rights (2-3)
Mental Disability and the Law (2)
Comparative Criminal Justice (1-2)
This course is offered through the law school’s summer program in South Africa.
Law of War (2)

C. Courses Relating to Specialized, Skills-Related Aspects of Criminal Pre-trial, Trial or Appellate Practice

Client Interviewing and Counseling (1-3)
Negotiation (2-3)
Jury Instructions and the Trial Process (2)
This course is currently offered only in the School of Law’s Summer in St. Louis Program.
Criminal Litigation Skills (3)
This must be taken separate from the similarly named component of the Criminal Prosecution Clinic.
Appellate Advocacy (2)
Forensic Science & Law (2-3)

Capstone Course

Credits Required: 3-6

Criminal Prosecution Clinic (6, including Criminal Skills & Criminal Writing)
Innocence Project Clinic (3-4)
White Collar Crime in simulation form (3-4)
Sentencing Law (3)
Prosecution and Defense of Violent Crime (3)
Death Penalty in simulation form (3)