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Criminal Justice Concentration

The University of Minnesota Law School offers J.D. and LL.M. students a concentration in criminal justice to help prepare them for the wide range of opportunities available in this field. Nationally renowned faculty teach courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, juvenile justice, sentencing law and policy, punishment theory, and other important topics in criminal justice. Top criminal justice lawyers and judges serving as adjunct professors provide valuable mentoring and networking opportunities for students. Students can further immerse themselves in criminal justice theory, law, policy, and practice through seminars, clinics, lectures, and research projects. In addition, students have access to interdisciplinary courses and seminars, student groups, and all the educational events and facilities that the University offers.

Further questions should be referred to the faculty chair for the concentration in criminal justice:

Fall 2014
Barry Feld

Spring 2015
Perry Moriearty


Program Highlights

  • Wide variety of core and specialized courses, seminars, and live-client clinics
  • Opportunity to do a one-to-one independent research and writing project with a criminal justice faculty member on a topic of mutual interest
  • Opportunities to work on cutting-edge criminal justice issues with faculty and staff in the Center for New Americans, the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, the Institute on Crime & Public Policy, the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity, and the Minnesota Justice Foundation
  • Mentorship opportunities with practicing attorneys, judges, and other officials who make and implement criminal justice law and policy
  • Networking and career employment opportunities with alumni worldwide

Study Opportunities

Required courses for the criminal justice concentration are criminal law and criminal procedure. Additional criminal justice-related offerings are extensive at both the Law School and other University departments.

Practical Opportunities

Students who participate in any of the Law School's criminal justice clinics 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. Clinics are offered in Child Advocacy and Juvenile Justice; Criminal Appeals; Detainee Rights; Federal Defense; Innocence Project; Misdemeanor Defense; Misdemeanor Prosecution; and Misdemeanor Prosecution and Defense.

Employment Opportunities

The Twin Cities legal community offers students abundant opportunities for part-time work during the school year or full-time work during the summer in the field of criminal justice.

Our graduates work as local, state, and federal prosecutors; criminal defense attorneys; trial and appellate judges; and legislators or their staff. Graduates also work for criminal law-related non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and for a variety of governmental agencies that enforce criminal laws and make criminal justice policy.

Student-Led Opportunities

The Criminal Justice League regularly arranges meetings with speakers who address important issues in the field. It also seeks to collaborate with NGOs and legal organizations to provide volunteer opportunities for student members.