Criminal Law and Advocacy

Students who earn the certificate for this concentration encounter a variety of experiences to help develop an understanding of criminal law and procedure in both a theoretical and practical context. They explore both the substantive criminal law as well as the constitutional overlay of criminal procedure. In addition, they experience aspects of criminal trial and motion work. Development focuses on advocacy skills: litigation, negotiation and other alternate dispute resolution methods that apply in a criminal context.

You’ll develop cutting-edge trial skills, such as the innovative use of visual persuasion techniques in the courtroom, and you’ll examine ethical issues unique to criminal practice settings. You’ll experience the criminal justice system in action in our clinics and externships, which will refine your ability to engage in both prosecution and defense work. You can advocate for real clients at the trial or appellate levels, represent the government, or help judges in criminal cases. You also can work on national criminal justice reform projects, such as advocating for more humane treatment of children charged with crimes, or challenging the death penalty. 

Your negotiation and litigation skills will be honed through participation in mock trials and courtroom simulations, and every year we host the Northeast Regional Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition. Our active Criminal Law Society sponsors several networking events and activities focused on helping you connect with legal professionals.

For specific information on the program offerings, please contact:

Professor Sarah French Russell
Director, Criminal Law and Advocacy Concentration
275 Mount Carmel Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518
Phone: 203-582-5258
Fax: 203-582-3244