The Criminal Litigation Concentration provides superb preparation for a student who wants to practice criminal law. It informs employers that the student possesses the exemplary skills, experience, and training necessary to immediately begin work in a courtroom as a prosecutor, defender, or judicial law clerk.

Our graduates complete more coursework in the criminal law arena than students at most other law schools, including at least one writing project in the criminal justice field. At the concentration’s core, however, is the hands-on experience a student receives in actual litigation. Graduates of this program have completed either a clinical experience, active competition on one of our nationally recognized trial teams, or a capstone criminal litigation course. As such, our students graduate with more litigation experience than many young attorneys and are exceptionally experienced in trying cases.

A "Tracking Sheet" should be used by students to track their progress in completing the concentration. Once all requirements are fulfilled, students should bring the tracking sheet to their concentration coordinator. The concentration coordinator will verify requirements have been met and then sign the bottom of the form. The form should then be submitted to the registrar for processing of the concentration completion letter.

Unlike many academic criminal programs that emphasize either defense or prosecution to the exclusion of the other point of view, students in this concentration benefit from broader exposure to the field. They have experiential learning opportunities available within two Criminal Prosecution Clinics, the first Clemency Clinic in the nation, as well as a Criminal Defense Clinic and an Innocence Project Clinic.

The success of the Criminal Litigation Concentration is demonstrated by the sizeable number of graduates working as prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges throughout the country including the Department of Justice, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Office of the D.C. Public Defender, as well as serving on numerous the federal and state benches.

Professor Mary Leary 
Coordinator, Criminal Litigation Concentration