To earn a Certificate in Criminal Law, a student must complete the eighty-six semester hours required for the Juris Doctor degree and must satisfy all JD requirements. Within the elective course work required for the JD, a student must complete nine (9) hours of required courses and six (6) hours of elective courses from the listed criminal law courses. All courses are three (3) credits unless otherwise indicated. Criminal Law and Evidence do not count toward the Certificate. Certificate courses may not be audited.

An applicant must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in the Certificate courses. If a student takes more than the 15 hours required for the Certificate, all of the criminal Law courses will factor into the final GPA. A student must declare on the Certificate application form all of the criminal law courses taken, even if a grade is not yet known. A student may earn a maximum of one Certificate while enrolled in law school.

Course Requirements

Elective Courses


LAW 464


(3 hrs) Offers an in-depth analysis of the decision to prosecute, restraints and prerogatives in the acquisition and use of evidence of criminal conduct, the law of arrest, search and seizure, interrogation, pretrial detention, preliminary hearings, pretrial motions, plea bargaining and other selected topics related to the pretrial phase of criminal prosecutions.
LAW 506 and LAW 518 are a prerequisite for this class.

LAW 465


3 credit hours. Analyzes the important phases of the criminal trial, including jury selection, opening and closing statements, presentation of witnesses, defense issues, assistance of counsel, guilty pleas, double jeopardy, jury instructions, sentencing, and ethical issues.

LAW 524


2 or 3 credit hours. This program is designed to give upper level students practical experience in an externship with a public agency, non-profit organization, member of the judiciary, or for-profit organization, such as a private law firm or in-house counsel for a corporation. Upper level students, who have at least 28 credit hours and a GPA of 2.0, may apply to participate. Participants are accepted on a case by case basis. Externships are unpaid. No student can receive more than 3 credit hours per semester and no more than 9 credit hours toward their JD degree if 3 of those credits are earned during a summer placement. Otherwise, students are limited to 6 credits hours total. A placement for 3 credit hours is expected to complete 180 hours of work whereas 120 hours of work is expected for a 2 credit hour placement.,

LAW 429


(3-6 hrs) Students work in one of the clinic modules under the supervision of a clinical attorney concentrating on real life problems with real clients and organizations. Instructor's permission required.

LAW 514


(3-6 hrs) Students work in one of the clinic modules under the supervision of a clinical attorney concentrating on real life problems with real clients and organizations. Instructor's permission required.

LAW 213


(3 hrs) This course will examine the criminal system response to domestic violence, focusing on the transformation of laws and institutions to address a problem historically conceptualized as "private." Topics will include: barriers to victim cooperation and law enforcemnet; law and policies governing mandatory arrest and prosecution; marital rape; battering during pregnancy; battered women who kill; expert testimony on battered woman syndrome; child protection concerns; evidentiary issues arising in domestic violence trials; anti-stalking legislation; civil/criminal protective order practice; and recent US Supreme Court decisions impacting domestic violence.

LAW 250


(3 hrs) Required for JD. The student must write an in-depth paper of Law Review quality on a topic of the professor's choosing.

LAW 312


(3 hrs) Covers advanced exercises in the mechanics of trial and trial preparation. Students develop case plans and proof analyses consistent with the theory of the case. During the trial of several simulated cases including a jury trial, students address such complex trial problems as: evidence retrieval in complex litigation, examination of medical and forensic expert witnesses, argument of motions during trial impeachment and instructions conferences. Students conduct detailed witness preparation exercises and voir dire. There is review of litigation technology and use of videotaping of student performances.
LAW 410 and LAW 450 are a prerequisite for this class.

LAW 313


(3 hrs) This course will deal with the legal processes for dealing with juvenile crimes and status offenses.

LAW 315


This class explores the history and application of the writ of habeas corpus. The AGreat Writ@ came to our country by way of English Common Law, and is given explicit recognition in the United States Constitution. It remains a protection for individual rights in criminal cases. Because habeas corpus petitions constitute a significant portion of the caseload of district courts, this course may be of interest to students pursing federal clerkship opportunities.

LAW 319


(3 hrs) Offers comprehensive treatment of the key problems encountered in the pretrial stages of the criminal case, including fact investigation, motions to suppress evidence, plea negotiations, preliminary hearings, arraignment, and pretrial conferences. Students conduct simulated pretrial motions, client interviews, fact investigations, counseling, negotiating and settlement sessions. Simulated depositions and motions are argued, as well as simulated pretrial conferences, are conducted during class.
LAW 410 and LAW 518 are a prerequisite for this class.

LAW 412


(3 hrs) Studies the problems, conflicts and accommodations in jurisdiction, procedure and review peculiar to the dual system of federal and state courts.
LAW 140 is a prerequisite for this class.

LAW 450


(3 hrs) Examines fundamental trial techniques. Students are expected to perform simulated courtroom exercises in voir dire, opening statements, direct and cross-examination, introduction of exhibits, closing arguments, objections and trial motions. Students are also required to prepare trial books and exhibits and to participate in a simulated bench trial.
LAW 410 is a prerequisite for this class.

LAW 457


3 credit hours. This course examines various feminist legal theories and their impact on the philosophy of law. After introductory materials addressing equality theory and constitutional standards, the class will apply feminist legal theories to different substantive areas, especially violence against women.

LAW 525


1 credit hour. This is a supplemental course in which students are graded upon their experiences and written reports.

LAW 730


(3 hrs) Cross listed course for Public Services program. Deals with how mental disability affects the legal rights and liabilities of persons in the criminal justice system. Among the issues considered are the insanity defense, alternative criminal accountability concepts, fitness to stand trial, and various provisions for the treatment of sex offenders and prisoners.

LAW 251


(3 credit hours) The Death Penalty Defense Practicum is essentially will be a hybrid course. Students can register for it as a clinic or as their senior writing requirement. Students will work with Professor Lyon to provide resources to capitally charged individuals and their counsel without actually taking on the direct representation of those individuals in other states such as Georgia, Texas, Alabama and Arizona. This four credit course will teach basic death penalty law and we accept requests from capital defenders to do research and writing that they need help with. This might take the form of an amicus brief, a motion and memorandum of law, a thorough examination of the literature in a forensic area and the like. Some direct representation may be done by the clinic, and so the opportunity to do investigation, and appear in court will also be available.