Directed by former Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps officer Professor Victor Hansen, our Criminal Practice and Procedure certificate program includes doctrinal courses, skill-building classes and clinics that will place you in the courtroom alongside prosecutors, public defenders, private defense attorneys, and judges.
The certificate program emphasizes criminal law coursework, developing litigation skills, and other essential practice skills used in the criminal law field. Many of our criminal law students are also active members of the trial advocacy and moot court teams, where they learn how to effectively present arguments, prepare and question witnesses, apply the rules of court, think on their feet, and develop sophisticated legal arguments.
What Do Attorneys Practicing Criminal Law Do?
Criminal law attorneys prosecute or defend individuals or organizations charged with committing a crime as defined by law. Often, criminal lawyers will work with their client to reach a plea agreement; if this is not an option, they go to trial. They may be involved in every step of a case, from gathering evidence to selecting jurors to preparing arguments that will be delivered in court.
Criminal law attorneys often work as state or federal prosecutors, public defenders, private defense attorneys, and judges. To prepare for such careers, law students should recognize the goals of learning the substantive criminal law and procedure, effective written and oral communication, and strong litigation skills.
Experiential Learning Opportunities
Students in our Criminal Practice and Procedure certificate program must meet an experiential learning requirement. Some of the hands-on learning experiences available to them include:
Criminal Practice and Procedure Courses
This certificate is awarded in conjunction with our JD degree. In addition to their foundational legal coursework, students pursuing a certificate in Criminal Practice and Procedure can choose among many exciting elective classes to meet their credit requirements. These may include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Criminal Advocacy
- Criminal Defense Ethics
- Juvenile Law
- Mental Health Law
- Privacy and Law Enforcement
- Prosecutorial Ethics
- Trial Practice
- White Collar Crime
- Wrongful Convictions
Note: Criminal Procedure II is also a foundational course that all students pursuing this certificate must take.
When you graduate from New England Law with a certificate in Criminal Practice and Procedure, you will:
- Be prepared to work in a criminal law/trial setting.
- Have hands-on experience related to your professional goals and interests.
- Understand the roles of a lawyer in various criminal law contexts.
- Know your professional and ethical responsibilities to your clients—and appreciate the power of the law and your ability to affect the lives and well-being of others.
- Have strong foundational lawyering skills, such as legal research and analysis, problem-solving, and communicating effectively.
Take the Next Step