Criminal Law, Justice & Policy Program 

Criminal Law, Justice and Policy collage

What happens in our criminal legal system impacts communities far beyond what happens to individual criminal cases and with individual defendants. There are continuing national and statewide efforts to reform our criminal legal system and to reduce incarceration rates. Texas A&M has a rich and varied curriculum to prepare students to practice in this vibrant legal field. A consistently high percentage of the Law School’s graduates, nearly 25%, work in our criminal legal system as either prosecutors or defense attorneys.

Through the Criminal Law, Justice & Policy Program students have an opportunity to learn about criminal law, to critically analyze criminal policy, and to develop ​ legal skills through a large variety of courses, including hands-on work with our Criminal Defense Clinic, Innocence Project, and Externships. You can earn a Criminal Law, Justice & Policy Concentration.


  • negotiating crime book coverProgram Director Cynthia Alkon launches her new textbook Negotiating Crime:  Plea Bargaining, Problem Solving, and Dispute Resolution in the Criminal Context (Carolina Academic Press), co-authored with Professor Andrea Schneider. This groundbreaking, first of its kind textbook covers all of the processes through which criminal cases are resolved in the United States beyond trials. Texas A&M School of Law Dean Robert Ahdieh and Aggie Dispute Resolution Program Director Nancy Welsh joined Alkon and Schneider to discuss the book at a reception on November 11, 2019, at Texas A&M School of Law.

  • Wrongfully-Convicted Amanda Knox, Anna Vasquez Visit Texas A&M Law

    amanda knox anna vasquezTexas A&M University School of Law's Innocence Project clinic welcomed Amanda Knox, Anna Vasquez and Prof. Mike Ware, Innocence Project of Texas Executive Director. Knox and Vasquez shared their stories of being wrongfully convicted and exonerated after serving time behind bars.
    ► Learn more.

Paths to Practice Success

Student Organization

  • Criminal Law Society

    The Texas A&M University School of Law Criminal Law Society promotes dialogue and activities regarding criminal justice practice, scholarship, and policymaking.

    Bessie BronsteinBessie Bronstein
    J.D. '21
    President, Texas A&M School of Law Criminal Law Society

    Meet Bessie

    Bessie Bronstein attended UT Austin where she studied English and Creative Writing. After a gap year where she worked with the local No-Kill Animal Shelter, Austin Pets Alive, she returned to her hometown of Fort Worth to attend Texas A&M Law. She has clerked for a misdemeanor judge and interned with the Northern District Federal Public Defender's office, and is currently clerking with Factor, Campbell, & Baker, one of the busiest criminal defense firms in Tarrant County.

    Max AppelMax Appel
    J.D. '21
    Vice President, Texas A&M School of Law Criminal Law Society 

    Meet Max

    Max is a 3L and plans to pursue a career in criminal law, specifically prosecution. Following his 1L year, Max interned with the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office (TCDA) and was assigned to the 213th District Court. This summer, Max had the opportunity to intern at Varghese Summersett, PLLC. He enjoyed the criminal defense experience and the chance to learn about the other side of criminal law practice in Tarrant County. He is currently serving as the Vice President of the Criminal Law Society and hopes to encourage discussion of timely criminal law issues with new and returning TAMU Law students. After graduation, Max aims to work at the TCDA's office.

    Zoe LugoZoe Lugo
    J.D. '21
    Treasurer, Texas A&M School of Law Criminal Law Society

    Meet Zoe

    Zoe is a 3L pursuing a concentration in criminal law. Prior to law school she worked for a criminal defense attorney in McKinney as an administrative assistant. Once in school, she had an internship through the Collin County District Attorney’s Office in McKinney where she was assigned to the felony trial team. She then worked for the Tarrant County Office of Staff Judicial Counsel and Mental Health Magistrate where she did writ research and made recommendations to judges on whether writs should be denied or granted relief. While in school, she was a member of the Innocence Project clinic where she looked at writs from those claiming actual innocence of crimes they have been convicted of. She is also a member of the mock trial team and serves as the Criminal Law Society’s Treasurer. After graduation, she aims to work as both a prosecutor and defense attorney.

    Yasmeen AboelhasanYasmeen Aboelhasan
    J.D. '21
    Communications Director, Texas A&M School of Law Criminal Law Society

    Meet Yasmeen

    Yasmeen is a 3L and plans to pursue a career in criminal defense. She’s focused most of her law school career on criminal law based courses and spent her 1L summer interning at a criminal defense and family law private firm. She spent her 2L summer interning at the Tarrant Bar Foundation focusing on the pro bono programs assisting indigent clients receive much needed legal services that they otherwise would not have been able to afford. She plans to graduate and continue a path in criminal law here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She is currently serving as the Criminal Law Society’s Communications Director.

    Ian Perez-RoutledgeIan Perez-Routledge
    J.D. '21
    Director of the Mentorship Program, Texas A&M School of Law Criminal Law Society

    Meet Ian

    Ian is a 3L and plans on pursuing a career practicing criminal law. In law school, Ian was awarded the Public Interest Law Fellowship and has worked for the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, The Texas A&M University School of Law Criminal Defense Clinic, private defense firms, and as a research assistant. Ian has helped prosecute and defend individuals accused of committing criminal offenses ranging from simple misdemeanors to aggravated felonies. As Director of the Mentorship Program, Ian hopes to develop a successful program that pairs law students with criminal law practitioners to facilitate professional growth. After law school, Ian plans on practicing in Texas for a local criminal district attorney’s office.