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.

For the time being, the School of Law is not accepting new students into this concentration. Students in the class of 2022 or earlier may complete the concentration and should contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs if they have trouble enrolling in the necessary courses.

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

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

B. Substantive Law Courses with Criminal Components

  • Antitrust Law (3)
  • Children and the Law (3)
  • Comparative Criminal Justice (2)*
  • Constitutional Law & Civil Rights Litigation (3)
  • Firearms Law (2-3)
  • Freedom of Speech & Association (3)
  • Regulation of Marijuana Businesses (2-3)
  • Securities Regulations (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 (2)
  • Appellate Advocacy (2)
  • Client Interviewing and Counseling (2-3)
  • Negotiation (2-3)
  • Jury Instructions (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 Clinic (6, including Criminal Skills & Criminal Writing)
  • Death Penalty Law (2-3)
  • Innocence Project Clinic (3-4)
  • White Collar Crime in simulation form (3-4)
  • The Law & Practice of Criminal Sentencing (3)