Criminal Law (3)
This course is designed to enable law students to deal with substantive criminal law problems in both practical and policy terms. There is inquiry into the proper scope and objectives of the criminal law, limitations on the State’s power to define criminal liability, and general principles of liability and defenses for offenses against the person and property. The course also provides an opportunity for critical examination of statutes at an early stage in the law student’s career.
This course covers the standards regulating admissibility of evidence in both criminal and civil trials. Special emphasis is placed on the Federal Rules of Evidence.
Criminal Procedure: Police Practices (3)
This course provides a close examination of the laws of criminal investigation. Topics include constitutional limits on arrests and stops, search and seizure, interrogation of suspects, right to counsel and the privilege against self-incrimination.
Practice Foundation: Criminal Litigation (3)
This course exposes students to the mechanics of criminal litigation. It will study the stages in the criminal process from charging through sentencing. There will also be instruction in advanced legal writing techniques and students will produce written briefs of the type frequently filed in trial courts in criminal litigation. The course will give heavy emphasis to California practice and procedure, although there will be some consideration of competing approaches taken in other jurisdictions. Learning will proceed primarily through simulated exercises in which students will act as lawyers litigating the various stages of a criminal case. Grading will be based on performance in the simulated exercises as well as several written exercises. Students must take Criminal Procedure: Police Practices before they may take this course, which replaces Criminal Procedure: Adjudicative Process. This course is strongly recommended for students interested in practicing criminal law. Students in this course need not have taken Evidence or Trial Practice. This course will satisfy the Practical Writing Requirement OR the Lawyering Skills Requirement; one course cannot satisfy both requirements at the same time.
NOTICE TO STUDENTS INTERESTED IN CAREERS IN CRIMINAL LAW
Most employers that hire graduates in this area rely heavily on the records built by students who have worked in the offices of prosecutors or defense attorneys. Externships and part-time and summer employment are critical for students interested in careers in this area. Until students have taken the upper-level courses that prepare them to work in this area, however, they are at a great disadvantage. Students without sufficient background will have difficulty impressing potential employers and references, and cannot be assigned a wide variety of work requiring familiarity with areas of law not taught in the first year. Accordingly, students should resist the temptation to work in this area immediately on completion of the first-year curriculum. Instead, as soon as possible, students should take the courses necessary to facilitate success in an externship or employment in this area. The following courses are strongly recommended:
FALL OF THE SECOND YEAR:
- Criminal Procedure: Police Practices
SPRING OF THE SECOND YEAR
- Trial Practice
- Practice Foundations: Criminal Litigation
SOMETIME IN THE SECOND YEAR
- Professional Responsibility
After students have completed these courses, they should undertake externships and/or part-time or summer employment, preferably with an employer with which the student would like to obtain a full-time position after graduation.