Concentrations & Certificates

Criminal Justice (Concentration)

Students who complete the Criminal Justice Concentration will attain: (a) basic entry-level training in generally applicable skills of legal problem solving, legal analysis, legal research, factual investigation, communication, counseling, negotiation, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, and legal ethics, and (b) an advanced level of understanding of substantive and procedural criminal law.

Learning Outcomes for Criminal Justice Concentration

 In the six required courses, students will:

  • Learn criminal law, procedure and evidence.
  • Learn the multiple skills required of a trial lawyer
  • Learn legal ethics

In the elective courses, students will:

  • Learn substantive and procedural law, skills, and policy consideration associated with post-conviction criminal processes such as sentencing (capital and non-capital) and collateral attacks on conviction.
  • Learn about substantive areas of law with criminal components (such as securities regulation, antitrust, and civil rights)
  • Gain additional specialized skills training in subjects such as client interviewing and counseling, negotiation, voir dire, and appellate advocacy

In the required capstone, students will:

  • Gain additional specialized knowledge of substantive and procedural law particular to the capstone class
  • Synthesize knowledge of substantive and procedural law with practical skills to solve problems and perform tasks characteristic of practicing criminal lawyers.

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

Electives

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)