Criminal Law, Justice & Policy Concentration

The concentration in Criminal Law, Justice and Policy is designed for students who plan to practice criminal law as a prosecutor or defense attorney or to work at a policy level by advising legislatures on criminal justice reform measures. Students must have a minimum grade of 2.33 in each graded course used to earn this concentration. The courses provide in-depth exposure to all aspects of criminal law and procedure, with an emphasis on both skills and policy. Experiential learning is an important part of this concentration.

A student seeking a substitution should consult with faculty advisor Prof. Cynthia Alkon.

To earn the Criminal Law Concentration, students must complete the following required and elective courses:

Core courses (​all are required)*

  • Criminal Procedure (3)
  • Criminal Procedure Trial Rights (3)
  • Evidence (4)
  • Trial Advocacy Practicum (3) or Trial Advocacy Criminal Cases (3)
  • Negotiation Theory & Practice Practicum (3)

Elective courses (at least two required)

  • Advanced Criminal Procedure (2 or 3)**
  • Courthouse Perspectives (1)
  • Crimmigration (1)
  • Death Penalty Seminar (2)
  • Domestic Violence Seminar (2)
  • Ethics for the Criminal Law Practitioner (1 or 2)
  • Immigration Law (3)
  • Innocence Project (2)
  • Juvenile Justice (2)
  • LARW III: Criminal Law Drafting (2)
  • LARW III: Appellate Drafting (2)
  • LARW III: Criminal Procedure (2)
  • LARW III:  Public Policy Drafting (2)
  • Law & Psychology Seminar (2)
  • National Security Law (3)
  • Post-Conviction Actual Innocence Claims (2)
  • Race & the Law Seminar (2)
  • Scientific Criminal Evidence Workshop (1)
  • Sentencing Law and Policy Seminar (2)
  • Texas Criminal Law Practicum (2)
  • Texas Criminal Procedure (3)
  • White Collar Crime (3)
  • Other courses that may be designated as satisfying this requirement (1/2/3)

Experiential Learning courses (at least one required)

  • Criminal Defense Clinic (2-4)
  • Externship in a prosecutor’s office, public defender/criminal defense counsel office or court with a criminal docket (2)

* Note that some of these courses are courses generally required for the J.D. degree. Completion satisfies both the J.D. degree and the Criminal Law, Justice & Policy Concentration.
** This course can be taken either as a 3 unit elective or a 2 unit seminar, but not as both.