Curriculum Guide · Curriculum
Criminal Law and Procedure
The criminal law curriculum holds a special place in the mission of the Law Center. Although most students will not plan a career in criminal law, this subject is at the very core of democratic government and a free society. All criminal law courses ultimately concern the conditions under which a government may legitimately utilize severe sanctions to coerce its citizens. Every lawyer, indeed, every citizen, should have a thoughtful understanding and appreciation of the policies and process of the criminal law. Furthermore, such an understanding and appreciation is particularly important for the significant number of Law Center graduates who will later become judges, legislators, and executive branch officials with responsibility for developing or administering criminal justice.
At Georgetown, a student has the opportunity to study every aspect of the American criminal justice system. In the spring semester of the first year (the second year, for part-time students), every student studies search and seizure, self-incrimination and right to counsel, in Criminal Justice (Curriculum A) or Democracy and Coercion (Curriculum B). Thereafter, in upperclass J.D. courses, seminars and clinics, students can delve more deeply into issues of law, procedure, policy and discretion relating to the significant areas of criminal law prosecution and defense.
Apart from concerns of career choice, the courses, seminars and clinics in the criminal law curriculum provide exceedingly useful training because the basic legal issues addressed are broadly applicable to other fields of law. For example, the exploration of the relationship between mental states and criminal responsibility, which forms the centerpiece of the Criminal Law course, is highly relevant to areas as diverse as securities regulation and torts. Similarly, the study of the incentive effects of legal rules, at the heart of many criminal and procedure courses, is important in the understanding of antitrust and commercial law. Also, the criminal law field is primarily governed by federal and state statutes, and, therefore, criminal law courses provide excellent opportunities for the student to analyze statutory interpretation and the legislative process.
Students planning a career in criminal law have a remarkable array of offerings from which to choose. In addition to the first year course in criminal procedure, two courses are considered “building blocks” in the field. Advanced Criminal Procedure and Advanced Criminal Procedure and Litigation examine the procedural rules that accompany the trial process, including discovery, plea bargaining, jury trial, and post-trial procedures. Criminal Law, which is required at many other law schools, examines the basic substantive requirements for criminal liability and many of the defenses to liability, such as insanity, duress, and self-defense. Also, this course provides the student with an opportunity to explore important and controversial distinctions between morality and law.
Beyond these basic courses, students can go on to concentrate on more specialized courses, such as Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Laws, Federal White Collar Crime, International Criminal Law, International White Collar Crime (graduate), and the Role of the Federal Prosecutor. Also, there are a number of seminar offerings that provide the opportunity to undertake scholarship in this area of law: Capital Punishment Seminar, Computer Crime Seminar, Race and Crime Seminar, History of Crime and Punishment Seminar, International Criminal Law Seminar: Tribunals and Crimes, and Theories of Criminal Responsibility Seminar. For hands on experience in the criminal justice system, students may apply to one of three clinics that focus on criminal law cases and provide a valuable introduction to criminal practice: the Appellate Litigation Clinic, the Criminal Justice Clinic, and the Juvenile Justice Clinic.
There is a one-credit mini course which relates to this field of study. Truth, Falsehood and the Law, considers the way the law deals with truth and falsehood, including the crimes of false statement, perjury, obstruction of justice and grand jury falsehood.
Appellate Litigation Clinic
Community Justice Project
Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic
Criminal Justice Clinic
Domestic Violence Clinic
Juvenile Justice Clinic
Advanced Criminal Procedure
Advanced Criminal Procedure and Litigation
Katyal, Neal K. (Offered)
Tague, Peter W. (Offered)
Wales, Heathcote W.
Wasserstrom, Silas J. (Offered)
Defending Corporations and Their Officers and Employees in Complex Criminal Cases
Defending and Prosecuting Corporations and Their Officers and Employees in Complex Criminal Cases
Federal White Collar Crime
Beale, Sara S.
Hardy, William J. (Offered)
Inglima, Philip T.
Kohlman, W. Gary (Offered)
Lynam, Terence J. (Offered)
Martz, Stephanie A.
O'Sullivan, Julie R. (Offered)
Olsen, Matthew G.
Gender, Race and Criminal Law
Government Enforcement Investigations: A Study at the SEC
International Criminal Law
Mental Health Issues in Criminal Law
Role of the Federal Prosecutor
Sentencing Law and Policy
International Criminal Law
International White Collar Crime
Global Cybercrime Law
National Security Investigations and Litigation
War Crimes & Prosecutions
Decriminalizing Mental Illness: Prison Reform Advocacy in Litigation and Beyond
Federal Criminal Investigation: Investigating Extraterritorial Crime
Mass Incarceration and Solitary Confinement
Prison Litigation Advocacy
Problem Solving Justice: Developments in Treatment, Diversion and Community Courts
Anatomy of a Federal Criminal Trial: The Prosecution and the Defense Perspective
Art and Cultural Property Law Seminar: Indiana Jones and the Elgin Marbles
Borders, Banishment, and Beyond Seminar
Capital Punishment Seminar
Child Abuse and Neglect Law Seminar
Collective Responsibility in Tort and Criminal Law: A Comparative Perspective
Computer Crime Seminar
Current Issues in National Security and Civil Liberties Seminar
Federal Investigations and Prosecutions
Health Care Fraud and Abuse Seminar
Prison Law, Policy and Advocacy Seminar
Sentencing and Pre-Trial Detention: Law and Policy
Theories of Criminal Responsibility Seminar
Truth, Falsehood, and the Law