Criminal Justice Program
Criminal Prosecution and Defense Practice offers advanced training in trial advocacy skills, constitutional theory, and "hands-on" practical experience that are necessary to become an outstanding advocate in the criminal justice arena.
Graduates who specialize in this concentration will have a competitive advantage in applying for positions with law firms that desire candidates with demonstrated excellence in litigation skills. This includes not only public defender and public prosecutor offices, but also civil law firms and governmental agencies seeking talented litigators.
Courses such as Advanced Criminal Litigation include crime scene investigation, mock trials before live juries, and performance critiques by practitioners and judges. In addition, this area of concentration offers you the opportunity to participate in sessions of the National Trial Skills Academy, sponsored annually by California Western's Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy, and to be part of special programs like the California Innocence Project and The Bail Project (PDF opens in new window). Through these programs you will come in contact with some of the top criminal justice professionals in the country and gain in-court experience in representing actual clients.
Grounded in the philosophy that a broad diversity of experience is essential for excellence in advocacy, you will have a great degree of flexibility in choosing courses tailored to your specific interests from three categories of courses. The Concentration is anchored around Core Practicum and Core Substantive courses such as Advanced Criminal Justice (which includes The Bail Project), Advanced Criminal Litigation, Advanced Prosecution Function and the California Innocence Project. Other practicum course offerings include California Sentencing Seminar, Evidence Advocacy , Forensic Evidence and Criminal Appellate Advocacy. Additional substantive courses you may select from include Constitutional Law II, Criminal Law Theory, White Collar Crime, Wrongful Conviction Seminar, International Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure II, and Problem Solving & Preventive Law. A third category of courses called Closely Related electives include Advanced Legal Research, Accounting for Lawyers, American Legal History II, Legal History Seminar: The Warren Court, Civil Rights & Constitutional Litigation, Constitutional Law Seminar, Current Issues in Constitutional Law, Domestic Violence Seminar, Federal Income Tax, Human Rights Law, Immigration Law, Jurisprudence, Juvenile Justice, Legislation, Mental Health Law, and Negotiation. Professor Laurence Benner, firstname.lastname@example.org is managing director of the Criminal Justice Program. Further information may also be obtained from the Admissions Office and the Application Form (PDF opens in new window).