The Certificate in Criminal Law will prepare qualified Juris Doctor and post-J.D. candidates for practice in criminal law and provide non-law students a strong foundation for policy work or other criminal justice fields. The program will help prepare law students to step into criminal law practice, whether at public agencies such as prosecution or public defender offices, or at firms or in solo practice. The program will also help prepare students for careers in criminal law policy or other criminal justice fields.

Admission requirements: The student must satisfy one of the following requirements:

  1. Be currently enrolled in the J.D. program at the School of Law or be admitted as a visiting J.D. student at the School of Law.
  2. Hold a J.D. degree from an accredited law school.
  3. Be enrolled in the LL.M. program at the U of A School of Law.
  4. Be admitted by the associate dean for academic affairs or that dean's designee as otherwise qualified to complete the certificate requirements successfully.

The associate dean for academic affairs, or designee, may limit the number of students eligible to pursue the certificate at any one time.

Course Requirements for the Certificate in Criminal Law
Students seeking the certificate generally will enter the program having already successfully completed as part of their J.D. degree program or other qualifying studies, the following basic law courses (or equivalents): LAWW 4074 Criminal Law (Irregular); LAWW 4173 Criminal Procedure (Irregular); LAWW 6093 Basic Evidence (Irregular); and LAWW 5013 Professional Responsibility (Irregular). Students who have not already completed one or more of these courses before entering the program may, however, do so during the time they are also pursuing the certificate.

Required Courses
LAWW 6203Trial Advocacy (Sp, Fa)3
Electives
Select four of the following (at least three must be non-externships)
LAWW 6633Criminal Procedure II (Irregular)3
LAWW 500VSpecial Topics (Irregular) (Advanced Criminal Law Clinic)2-3
LAWW 500VSpecial Topics (Irregular) ((Capital Punishment)3
LAWW 406VUpper Level Writing (Sp, Su, Fa) (Crime and the Supreme Court)1-3
LAWW 500VSpecial Topics (Irregular) (Federal Criminal Law)3
LAWW 500VSpecial Topics (Irregular) (International Criminal Law)3
LAWW 7012Juvenile Justice Seminar (Irregular)2
LAWW 406VUpper Level Writing (Sp, Su, Fa) (Police Discretion Seminar)2
LAWW 500VSpecial Topics (Irregular) (Prisoners' Rights Seminar)2
Externships
LAWW 673VCriminal Defense Externship (Irregular)1-3
LAWW 683VCriminal Prosecution Externship (Irregular)1-3

Other requirements:

J.D. Candidates: Our J.D. students must declare their intention to complete the program in the spring of their 2L year by notifying the associate dean for academic affairs or that dean's designee. (For the first class only, 3L students should check with the law school about participation).

The student must have an overall law school GPA of 2.75 and a GPA of 3.0 in certificate courses at the time he or she declares. In order to successfully receive the certificate upon graduation, the student must successfully complete the required courses, earn a GPA of 3.2 in certificate courses, an overall GPA of 2.75, and a B-plus or above in the criminal law clinic or other approved experiential capstone course (if graded).

J.D. Visitors: Those currently earning a J.D. at another ABA-accredited law school but visiting here may earn the criminal law certificate. They must apply to the associate dean for academic affairs, or designee, by spring of their 2L year. These students can satisfy certificate course credits with courses taken at their own law school, but must take at least 12 credits in certificate courses here. Also, they must complete the criminal clinic program or other approved experiential capstone course here.

The student must have an overall law school GPA of 2.75 and a GPA of 3.0 in certificate courses at the time he or she applies. In order to successfully receive the certificate, the student must successfully complete the required courses, earn a GPA of 3.2 in certificate courses, and a B-plus or above in the criminal law clinic or other approved experiential capstone course (if graded).

Post-J.D. Candidates: Those who have already earned a J.D. degree from an accredited law school in the United States may also earn a certificate. They must apply to the
associate dean for academic affairs, or designee, before commencing the program.

For the purposes of this program, post-J.D. candidates can determine their GPA within the program based in part on courses completed elsewhere. These candidates must satisfy all the required courses, at least 12 credits of which must be taken here, and they must complete the criminal clinic program or other approved experiential capstone course here.

Post-J.D. candidates must have at least an overall GPA of 3.0 from the school that conferred their law degree. To complete the program, they must earn a GPA of 3.2 in certificate courses and a B+ or above in the criminal law clinic or other approved experiential capstone course (if graded).

LL.M. Candidates: Our LL.M. candidates must notify the associate dean for academic affairs one month before enrollment in the LL.M. program of their intention to complete
the program and must have the approval of the director of the LL.M. program.

For the purposes of this program, LL.M. candidates can determine their GPA within the program based in part on courses completed elsewhere. LL.M. candidates must satisfy all the required courses, at least 12 credits of which must be taken here, and must take the criminal law clinic or other approved experiential capstone course here.

To declare, an LL.M. candidate must have at least an overall GPA of 3.0 from the school that conferred their law degree. To complete the program, they must earn a GPA of 3.2 in certificate courses, an overall GPA of 2.75, and a B-plus or above in the criminal law clinic or other approved experiential capstone course (if graded).

General Requirements (Non-J.D. and Non-LL.M. Candidates): Post-baccalaureate students who are not enrolled as J.D. or LL.M. students at the law school (and do not have a J.D. degree) may also earn a certificate. They must apply to the associate dean for academic affairs, or designee, before commencing the program. If they have taken at least 12 credits of the required certificate courses at another ABA-accredited law school, their GPA in those courses must be at least 3.0 to apply. If they have not, their undergraduate cumulative GPA must be at. least 3.5. For the purposes of this program, these students can determine their GPA within the program based in part on courses completed elsewhere.

To earn the certificate, these students must complete all the required courses, at least 12 credits of which must be taken here, and they must complete the approved experiential capstone course here. To complete the program, they must also earn a GPA of 3.2 in certificate courses and a B-plus or above in the approved experiential capstone course (if graded).