Criminal Law and Policy

Neuroscience and the Law

Seminar - 2 hours. This course explores current topics at the crossroads of neuroscience and the law.  The course introduces foundational bioethics and some basics of cognitive science.  It examines the relationship between social science and the law, notably how empirical research findings are used to design legal institutions.  It considers the role of scientific models of human cognition and motivation in the context of legal policy creation or sentencing decisions.

Comparative Criminal Justice

Seminar - 3 hours. This seminar explores the ways political units in different countries attempt to maintain social order and advance criminal justice. Students examine the people, policies, and institutions responsible for adjudicating alleged criminal law violations around the globe. They also learn about how rules of professional responsibility and legal ethics guide the behavior of the institutional actors who participate in these criminal processes.

Trauma-Informed Lawyering

Seminar - 2 hours. Recent developments in neuroscience and psychology support the contention that we live in a world impacted by trauma. But lawyers are not often trained in recognizing how trauma affects our work. Trauma-informed lawyering is an approach to the practice of law that equips students with the knowledge and skills to navigate these difficult environments.

White Collar Investigations and Prosecutions

This course is for students with knowledge of basic criminal procedure, and are interested in further developing their legal skills while focusing on issues related to white-collar crime. The course will involve a real-world case involving bribery and other financially motivated crimes.  At the initiation of the case, the students will learn how to establish probable cause through cooperative witnesses to utilize the most universal tool in all criminal investigations: the search warrant.

Advanced Aoki Criminal Justice Practicum

Students who completed one semester of the Criminal Justice Practicum will work on claims of innocence, wrongful conviction, and other miscarriages of justice. Students will draft papers for prosecutors' offices, will make formal internal presentations, and possibly appear in court.

Graduation Requirements: May satisfy the Advanced Writing Requirement OR count towards the Professional Skills Requirement, student must choose one.
Final Assessment: Other (Briefs, motions, memoranda)
Grading Mode:  Letter Grading

Race, Mass Incarceration and Policing

Seminar - 2 hours.  This course looks at key issues in the historical development and the current state of modern American imprisonment, policing structures, and the criminal justice system in relation to race. It will examine historical and contemporary scholarship, juridical shifts and case studies that provide arguments about the connections between race, poverty, and the criminal justice system in the form of imprisonment and policing.

Sexual Assaults in the Criminal Justice System

Seminar -2 units. This course focuses on the criminal prosecution and defense of sexual assaults, from reporting to sentencing, through examination of pertinent criminal statutes, evidence code sections, jury instructions, court documents and specific case studies.

Final Assessment: Paper/Skills Exercise
Grading Mode: Letter Grading

Aoki Conviction and Sentence Integrity Practicum

3 units - Students will work on criminal justice projects for prosecutors' offices, including individual cases involving excessive sentences and miscarriages of justice, and criminal justice policy reforms designed to reduce mass incarceration and advance racial justice.

Prerequisite: Law 227A Criminal Procedure and Law 219 Evidence are recommended.
Graduation Requirements: Counts towards Professional Skills Requirement.
Final Assessment: Other.
Grading Mode:  Letter Grading.

Introduction to Criminal Litigation

This course utilizes experiential learning techniques to teach advocacy skills during the life of a criminal case and simulates critical stages of the proceedings by conducting mock hearings throughout the semester.

Recommended Co-requisite: Law 219 Evidence and Law 227A Criminal Procedure.

Graduation Requirements: Counts towards Professional Skills Requirement.
Final Assessment: Other.
Grading Mode:  Letter Grading

Criminal Justice in the Era of Prison Downsizing

Seminar - 2 units. This course offers an opportunity to learn about how different parts of the criminal justice system work and to consider practical solutions to addressing crime in a context where the emphasis on incarceration is declining.

Graduation Requirements: May satisfy Advanced Writing Requirement with instructor's permission.
Final Assessment:  Short papers, a Final Paper, Class participation.
Grading Mode:  Letter Grading.