Criminal Law and Procedure Concentration

Receive instruction and training in those subjects and skills that are fundamental to the real-world practice of criminal law.

Faculty Concentration Advisors and Advisement

Professors Barbara S. Barron, Alafair S. Burke, Robin Charlow, Fred Klein, Evelyn Malave, Elizabeth Nevins, and Ellen Yaroshefsky will serve as faculty concentration advisors for this Concentration. Concentration faculty advisors may modify the Concentration requirements in exceptional circumstances upon notice to the Dean.

Guidance from a student’s concentration faculty advisor is an important element of successful completion of the Concentration. A concentration faculty advisor must approve a student’s enrollment in the Concentration. Students should meet with their advisor as soon as they find themselves interested in the Concentration, but in no event later than the course selection deadline for their fourth semester of study (or fifth semester of study for part-time students). An advisor may permit a student to enroll in the Concentration at a later date, but only after determining that the student can realistically meet the requirements of the Concentration prior to graduation.

Once enrolled in the Concentration, students must meet with their faculty advisor at least once per semester, prior to that semester’s course selection deadline, in order to plan their course selection and review their progress in fulfilling the Concentration’s requirements. A student’s concentration faculty advisor must also review and approve the concentration writing requirement.

Concentration Requirements

Depth of Knowledge Foundation

Students must take all of the following courses:

  • Criminal Law
  • Evidence
  • Criminal Procedure I: Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments
  • Criminal Procedure II: Adjudication

Skills Foundation

It is strongly recommended that students gain the necessary foundation in trial skills by enrolling in Trial Techniques - Comprehensive Litigation Skills. However, students may establish the necessary skills foundation by completing three credits of trial (as opposed to other advocacy) skills in a criminal (as opposed to civil) law context. The credits used to satisfy the skills foundational requirement may not also be used to satisfy any of the additional concentration requirements below.

Students must also complete at least two of the following elective courses. Although it is suggested that students select at least one depth of knowledge course and at least one simulation-skills course, a student has discretion over which electives to select in consultation with his or her Faculty Concentration Advisor.

Depth of Knowledge Courses:

  • Comparative Criminal Law
  • Crime and Communities
  • Criminal Law in the Workplace
  • Death Penalty
  • Discretion at Sentencing: A Comparative Approach
  • Domestic Violence Seminar
  • Ethics in Criminal Advocacy
  • Federal Criminal Law
  • International Criminal Law
  • Juvenile Justice Seminar
  • Law and Psychiatry
  • Mental Health Issues in Criminal Justice System
  • Police Discretion: A Comparative Approach
  • Race, Gender and Crime
  • Scientific Evidence (*with Advisor’s approval)
  • Sentencing Reform Seminar
  • U.S. Exceptionalism in Criminal Punishment
  • Wrongful Convictions

Simulation/Skills Courses:

  • Advanced Trial Advocacy
  • Advanced Trial Practice: The Jury
  • Domestic Violence Seminar (with Skills)
  • Expert Witness – Homicide
  • Human Trafficking Project
  • New York Criminal Procedure
  • Prosecutor's Role: Prosecuting a Criminal Case
  • The Grand Jury
  • Trial Techniques
  • Youth Court

The final law school year should include a culminating experience that permits students to combine their study of theory, doctrine, and skills in the real world. To satisfy the requirement of a culminating experience for a Criminal Law and Procedure Concentration, students must complete either the Criminal Justice Clinic or the Clinical Prosecution Practicum.

If, however, a student is unable because of enrollment limitations to participate in either the Criminal Justice Clinic or the Clinical Prosecution Practicum, the Faculty Concentration Advisor may permit the student to satisfy the Culminating Experience Requirement through other means, such as completion of Externship Program, Criminal Law, if the advisor concludes that student’s experience(s) will provide the equivalent depth and breadth of experience and level of attorney supervision as a clinic experience. 

A student must complete a writing requirement that would satisfy either Writing Requirement I or II in any course, or via any Journal note or Independent Study, on a criminal law or procedure subject or subjects, as approved by the student’s concentration faculty advisor. It is permissible for the writing used to satisfy this requirement be the same writing used by the student to satisfy another Law School requirement.