Concentrations & Certificates

Criminal Justice (Concentration)

The Criminal Justice Concentration is designed for students considering careers as prosecutors or criminal defense counsel, and those who seek structured training in the skills necessary to the practice of law in other substantive areas – particularly legal analysis, factual investigation, counseling, negotiation and the persuasive arts of written and oral advocacy. The concentration consists of six required courses, three electives and a capstone course.

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 Justice Administration (3)
  • Criminal Law (4)*
  • Criminal Procedure (3)*
  • Evidence (4)*
  • Professional Responsibility (3)*
  • Trial Practice (3-4)

Required for graduation


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

  • The Law & Practice of Criminal Sentencing (1-4)
  • Death Penalty Law (in its non-simulation configuration) (3)
  • Collateral Consequences of Sentencing (2-3)
  • Wrongful Convictions (1-4)
  • Law of Habeas Corpus and Other Collateral Attacks on Conviction (1-3)
  • Sentencing Law (3)

B. Substantive Law Courses with Criminal Components

  • Antitrust Law (3)
  • Children and the Law (2-3)
  • Civil Rights (2-3)
  • Comparative Criminal Justice (1-2)*
  • Freedom of Speech & Association (1-3)
  • Law of War (2)
  • Mental Disability and the Law (2)
  • Securities Regulation (3)

*This course is offered through the law school’s summer program in South Africa.

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

  • Advanced Trial Practice
  • Appellate Advocacy (2)
  • Client Interviewing and Counseling (1-3)
  • Criminal Litigation Skills (3)
  • Forensic Science & Law (2-3)
  • Negotiation (2-3)
  • Jury Instructions and the Trial Process (2)
  • Voir Dire (1-2)

Capstone Course

Credits Required: 3-6

A capstone experience consisting of either a live-client clinic or a course employing complex simulation exercises is required.

  • Criminal Prosecution Clinic (6, including Criminal Skills & Criminal Writing)
  • Death Penalty in simulation form (3)
  • Innocence Project Clinic (3-4)
  • Prosecution and Defense of Violent Crime (3)
  • White Collar Crime in simulation form (3-4)
  • The Law & Practice of Criminal Sentencing (1-4)