From Coursework to Casework


From Coursework to Casework

Our criminal law curriculum prepares you for practice with a thorough foundation in criminal law, evidence and procedure. Advanced study options, skills courses, and clinics are designed to enhance your oratory, writing, and case management skills, while exposing you to extensive, theoretical coverage. For students who want to concentrate in this area, we offer a Certificate in Criminal Law. The program is enhanced by a full roster of seminars and specialty courses that focus on issues such as law and police policy, legislation and statutory interpretation, scientific evidence, terrorism and civil liberties, and wrongful convictions. Other advanced course topics include business crimes, capital punishment, federal investigations, securities fraud, and international criminal law.

Our program balances doctrine with practical training. For example, in Trial Advocacy, one of our many skills courses, students participate in trial simulations, conduct direct and cross-examination, introduce evidence, and deliver opening and closing statements, with feedback from professors and trial lawyers. In Appellate Advocacy, students learn how to frame issues, write briefs and argue effectively before a judge. Multiple workshops provide opportunities to learn criminal procedure through simulated litigation exercises.

Our criminal law clinics are unparalleled in this area. The range of opportunities for students is extraordinary. They can work at both trial and appellate levels, in state and federal courts, on behalf of the prosecution or in the representation of defendants, and in criminal justice agencies. In our unique Capital Defender and Federal Habeas Clinic, students represent death row inmates who are seeking a new hearing in federal court.

Brooklyn Law School is located at the epicenter of the legal community, close to dozens of federal, state, and local courts, as well as criminal justice agencies. We also have strong ties to the leadership of these organizations, where our faculty and graduates are well represented.

In fact, the criminal law bench and bar provide our learning laboratories through a full range of judicial and criminal practice externships, in which students work closely with judges and practitioners. Some recent placements include:

Criminal Division of The Legal Aid Society; Brennan Center for Justice; New York State Attorney General; New York City Law Department; District Attorneys of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx; the U.S. Attorneys for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; Office of the Federal Defender; the Alabama Capital Representation Resource Center; the Center for Capital Litigation.