Miami Law Criminal Law concentration

Criminal Law

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Introduction
Curriculum
Faculty
Student-Led Opportunities
Experiential Opportunities
    Clinics
    Externships
    Legal Corps

Introduction

Miami Law has an array of courses, faculty, clinics and organizations to help prepare students to work in some aspect of criminal law in government, the non-profit sector, corporations or private practice. Our nationally renowned faculty teach courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, cyber law, sex offender legislation, juvenile justice and other important topics in criminal justice.

Students can further immerse themselves in criminal justice law, policy, and practice through taking seminars that bring students into contact with leading criminal law scholars across the country to participating in clinics, lectures, and student groups.

Curriculum

All students receive an immediate grounding in their first year by studying Criminal Procedure and how the Constitution and criminal justice system regulate government investigation of crime. The other basic course in the area, Substantive Criminal Law, is offered as an elective to both first-year and upper-level students. Once students have a basic grounding, Miami Law offers a wide range of courses from seminars that bring students into contact with leading criminal law scholars across the country to clinics where students become involved in helping represent defendants facing the death penalty.

Core Courses:

  • Criminal Procedure
  • Criminal Prosecution and Defense Lawyering (Workshop)
  • Substantive Criminal Law

Related Courses:

  • Administrative Law
  • Advanced Evidence Seminar
  • Immigration Clinic
  • Immigration Law
  • Migration and Immigration Policy and Law Reform
  • International Criminal Law
  • Removal and Asylum

Specialized Courses, Seminars:

  • Advanced Moot Court
  • Death Penalty Clinics
  • Innocence Clinic
  • Criminal Law & Procedure (Colloquium)
  • Comparative Criminal Law Seminar
  • Florida Criminal Procedure
  • Federal Appellate Clinic
  • Human Trafficking
  • Litigation Skills I and II-Criminal, Advanced Criminal (see side bar)
  • Wrongful Convictions: Causes and Remedies

Faculty

The criminal law and procedure area is taught at Miami Law by professors and practitioners with a wide rage of interests and experience. The faculty teaching in the criminal law area has published articles and books on a diverse array of topics. One professor has devoted twenty years to the Capital Jury Project and the Project's effort to decipher the inner workings of juries. Another professor is engaging in empirical research that digs down past myths and assumptions surrounding sex offenders as a way to understand the realities of sex offenders.

Some of our faculty members have been prosecutors, others have been criminal defense attorneys, and others have worked for both the government and the defense. Our full-time faculty includes:

  • Ricardo J. Bascuas: Evidence, criminal procedure, international criminal law
  • Donna K. Coker: Criminal law, gender and inequality
  • Mary Anne Franks: Criminal law, criminal procedure, discrimination, free speech, cyberlaw, law and gender
  • Donald M. Jones: Criminal procedure, constitutional law, employment discrimination
  • Tamara Rice Lave: Criminal law, criminal procedure, ethics, punishment, sex offender legislation
  • Martha R. Mahoney: Criminal law, race and urban development, public interest law, property and land use
  • Scott E. Sundby: Criminal law, criminal procedure, constitutional law

Student-Led Opportunities

Organizations:
Criminal Law Society
The Charles C. Papy, Jr. Moot Court Board
Human Rights

Student Projects though the HOPE Public Interest Resource Center:
Juvenile Justice
Domestic Violence
Workplace Justice

Experiential Opportunities

Clinics: Students who participate in any of the Law School's clinics have the opportunity to work on cases that expose them to a wide variety of legal, ethical, strategic, and public policy issues that arise in the practice of criminal law. Our clinics include:

  • Bankruptcy Assistance Clinic
  • Children & Youth Law Clinic
  • Death Penalty Clinic
  • Federal Appellate Clinic
  • Health & Elder Law Clinic
  • Human Rights Clinic
  • Immigration Clinic
  • Innocence Clinic
  • Investor Rights Clinic
  • Tenants' Rights Clinic

Externships: We offer students abundant opportunities for part-time work during the school year or full-time work during the summer in the field of criminal justice. Miami Law has externship opportunities run through out Litigation Skills Program and through the Career Development Office.

Litigation Skills Externship Program: The Litigation Skills Externship Program provides students with a wide variety of hands-on professional opportunities. Past national placements have included:

  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • IRS
  • State Attorney CT, MA
  • Public Defender CA, OH, RI, MD, CT
  • District Attorney TX, MA, NY

Past international placements have included:

  • The United Nations in Dominican Republic
  • Guardian Ad Litem in Tanzania

Local placements often include:

  • State Attorney's Office
  • Public Defender's Office
  • Office of the US Attorney
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Office of the Federal Public Defender
  • Consumer Advocates Office
  • Securities and Exchange Commission

Litigation Skills Externship Program: The CDO Externship Program allows students to obtain academic credit while working in a real world legal setting. Below is a sampling of externships that students with an interest in criminal law have pursued as part of this program:

  • 11th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, Domestic Violence Division
  • Collier County Public Defender's Office
  • Cook County Defender's Office
  • County of Carroll District Attorney's Office
  • Florida Legal Services, Inc.
  • Florida Office of the Attorney General, Office of Statewide Prosecution
  • Kansas Attorney General's Office
  • Kent County Prosecutor's Office
  • Law Offices of the Public Defender , 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida
  • Legal Aid Society (of Dade County Bar Association and Palm Beach County)
  • Legal Services of Greater Miami
  • Miami- Dade State Attorney's Office
  • Monroe County, County Attorney's Office
  • Nassau Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Office of the Public Defender, 17th Judicial Circuit of Florida
  • Office of the State Attorney, (9th, 15th and 17th Judicial Circuit of Florida)
  • State of Maryland , Office of the Public Defender
  • The North Carolina Department of Justice
  • The Office of the Federal Public Defender of the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • United States District Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida
  • Wayne County Prosecutor's Office

Legal Corps: Our Legal Corps Program places recent law graduates in public sector organizations nationwide to fill the gaps at understaffed public agencies by providing them with prepared, skilled, and diverse attorneys. Below is a sampling of Legal Corps opportunities within the criminal law practice area:

  • American Samoa Government (Pago Pago, American Samoa)
  • Broward County Sheriff's Office (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
  • Miami-Dade Police Department (Miami, FL)
  • Middlesex District Attorney's Office (Woburn MA)
  • Office of the Florida Attorney General – Economic Crimes Division (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
  • Office of the New Jersey Attorney General, Division of Criminal Justice (Cherry Hill, Trenton & Whippany, NJ)
  • Office of the Public Defender, 6th Judicial Circuit (Pasco and Pinellas Counties, FL)
  • Office of the State Attorney, 14th Judicial Circuit (Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson & Washington Counties, FL) and 15th Judicial Circuit (West Palm Beach, FL)
  • Offices of the Public Defender, 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida (Miami, FL)
  • Office of the Public Defender, City of Richmond (Richmond, VA)
  • Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics (West Palm Beach, FL)
  • Sacramento County District Attorney's Office (Sacramento, CA)
  • South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense (Columbia, SC)
  • State Attorney's Office, 11th Judicial Circuit (Miami, FL) and 17th Judicial Circuit (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
  • State of Maryland, Office of the Public Defender (All counties within the State of Maryland)
  • ACLU Capital Punishment Project (Durham, NC)
  • Georgia Capital Defender (Atlanta, GA)
  • Nebraska Innocence Project (Omaha, NE)
  • New York State Defenders Association (Albany, NY)
  • The Public Defender Office for the District of Columbia (Washington, DC)
CONCENTRATIONS

Law book

While one can become an expert in a particular legal area through work experience and post-law school study, many students choose to focus on a particular subject area during law school.

At Miami Law we have expertise in an array of legal areas some of which include:


TRIAL PREPARATION: LITIGATION SKILLS PROGRAM

Litigation Skills Program

Our acclaimed Litigation Skills Program -- Lit Skills I (Criminal) and Lit Skills II (Advanced Criminal) -- offers students rigorous, hands-on litigation training.

  • Prep for trial by writing trial briefs and preparing witnesses
  • Learn to litigate a case from start to finish
  • Gain invaluable courtroom experience
  • Can be awarded prizes and scholarships
  • Are taught by experienced trial lawyers and judges

How the program is unique:

  • 60 percent of second and third year law students enroll in this six-credit course.
  • Graduates of the course are placed in a 6-credit externship program and are certified by the Supreme Court of Florida to engage in the supervised practice of law.
  • It is open to all students and includes far more hours in litigation skills than at most law schools.

Read all about our Litigation Skills Program.


RELATED CRIMINAL LECTURES AND COLLOQUIA