Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Courses

The courses listed below provide a taste of the Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure courses offered at the Law School, although no formal groupings exist in our curriculum. This list includes the courses taught in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years. Not all of these courses are offered every year, but this list will give you a representative sample of the variety of courses we might offer over any two-year period. Other new courses will likely be offered during your time at the Law School.

PLEASE NOTE: This page does not include courses for the current academic year. To browse current course offerings, visit my.UChicago.

Big Problems

The Big Problems course will use multidisciplinary approaches to try to understand and tackle the most important problems facing our country or the world. The first 8 weeks will be taught by the instructors and outside experts, focusing on problems such as the Zika virus, Syrian migration to Europe, cybersecurity, nuclear waste storage, opioid addiction, sex trafficking, and policing and race relations. Students will work in teams of 2 business and 2 law students to develop feasible policy or private sector solutions to a problem of their choosing and make a presentation in the last 2 weeks. Presentations will be made to instructors, outside experts and fellow students. Final grade will be based on the presentations and a companion paper (20-25 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Spring 2020, David Weisbach and Anup Malani
  • Spring 2019, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, and Kevin Murphy
  • Spring 2018, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, and Kevin Murphy

Capital Punishment

This seminar will deal with the law of capital punishment in the United States, focusing on the U.S. Supreme Court's pertinent Eighth Amendment jurisprudence. Although philosophical and public policy questions will undoubtedly arise, the doctrine will remain the seminar's central concern. Grades will be based on a combination of class participation, a short (~15 pages) final research paper, and discussion questions to be submitted before class meetings. Students who wish to earn SRP credit must write a 20-25 page research paper.


  • Winter 2020, John Rappaport

Civil Gideon and Access to Justice

This seminar explores access to justice and right to counsel debates in the criminal and civil contexts, starting with the landmark Supreme Court case, Gideon v. Wainwright. Topics include, the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, whether Gideon's promise is being fulfilled in criminal cases, the costs and benefits of having a civil Gideon regime, funding for civil legal services organizations, empirical research on the impact of lawyers on case outcomes and client experiences, pro bono legal services, and the role of race and class in access to justice. Readings will include cases, law review and social science articles. Final grades will be based on a series of short response papers and class participation.


  • Spring 2020, Atinuke Adediran
  • Spring 2019, Atinuke Adediran

The Civil Rights Movement in the United States, 1865-Present

This class examines the history of the African American Freedom Struggle  in the United States from emancipation to the present.  Although the course will move chronologically, our emphasis will be thematic, covering such topics as voting rights and political participation, sex and marriage rights, criminal justice reform, the role of courts, and the relationship between law and social movements. A series of research papers will be required for this class (20-25 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Winter 2020, Jane Dailey

Civil Rights Practicum

In this practicum, students will engage in a range of research and analysis under the supervision of Prof. Huq, in relation to a number of active civil rights cases or other matters. Initial projects will include work on hate-crimes regulation. The aim is to cultivate experience in litigation and advocacy-related tasks in a real world setting, albeit without the structured format of a clinic. Students will be evaluated based on written work, collaboration, and analysis.Questions should be directed to Prof. Huq.


  • Spring 2021, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2021, Aziz Huq
  • Spring 2019, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2019, Aziz Huq
  • Autumn 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Spring 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Autumn 2017, Aziz Huq

Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions

This seminar will explore the ways in which having a criminal record changes people's lives, as well as the broader social and public safety impact of those consequences, including distributive consequences along racial and socioeconomic lines. We will explore the many "collateral legal consequences" of criminal convictions (that is, legal consequences other than the sentence), constitutional theories for challenging those consequences, and socioeconomic hurdles facing people with records, especially those reentering society from prison. We'll also evaluate, from an interdisciplinary perspective, various legal and policy interventions designed to help people with records overcome these obstacles and avoid criminal recidivism. This class requires a major paper of 20-25 pages. Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Spring 2021, Sonja Starr

The Constitutional Rights of Minors from the Minors' Point of View

This seminar will be offered to a small group of law students who will co-teach a group of high school students who are currently in the custody of Illinois's Juvenile Justice System. Each law student will be paired with one or two high school students living in and attending school in a juvenile facility and will be responsible for supporting those students' learning, commenting on their weekly work, and co-running weekly small group sessions. Law Students will also be expected to participate in additional group meetings with Professor Buss to plan the curriculum and discuss the insights gained from the class, and in individual meetings with the high school students as part of the teaching process. The seminar will meet on Tuesday mornings from 9:00 to 11:00 to accommodate the needs of the high school students. Additional meetings will be scheduled to accommodate the schedules of enrolled law students, high school students and Professor Buss. Priority will be given to Law Students enrolled in Con Law VII, to increase the law students' expertise on the topics addressed in the High School seminar and to enrich the learning in Con Law VII. If any students not enrolled in Con Law VII are enrolled in the seminar, they will be expected to do additional reading to prepare them for the seminar sessions. Topics will include: Young peoples' rights in the juvenile justice system, minors' right to control medical and reproductive decisions, and high school students' religious and speech rights , due process rights, and rights against search and seizure in school. Law Students' writing will consist of weekly response papers addressing high school students' participation and reflecting upon the high school students' contributions. Advance approval by Emily Buss is required., and space is limited. If you are interested, please contact her by email at at your earliest convenience. Students interested in taking it for 3 credits will write an additional 10-15 page paper.


  • Spring 2021, Emily Buss
  • Autumn 2019, Emily Buss
  • Winter 2018, Emily Buss
  • Autumn 2018, Emily Buss

Corporate Criminal Prosecutions and Investigations

The criminal investigation and prosecution of large-scale corporate fraud and corruption are among the hottest areas of focus for prosecutors and the criminal defense bar. This seminar is designed for students interested in learning about the various aspects of uncovering, investigating, defending, prosecuting, and resolving corporate criminal matters under state and federal law, including those arising under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The seminar will address legal and practical issues and concerns from the perspective of the prosecutor, the defense attorney, and in-house counsel. Among other topics, students will learn about: (i) foundational principles of corporate criminal liability; (ii) the whistleblower frameworks under the Dodd-Frank Act and Sarbanes-Oxley Act; (iii) conducting internal investigations as well as government investigative techniques and tools; (iv) strategic considerations for the prosecutor and defense lawyer in white collar criminal investigations; (v) prosecutorial and SEC charging policies, including creating incentives to encourage voluntary disclosure and cooperation; (vi) pre-trial diversion, including deferred and non-prosecution agreements; (vii) compliance monitors and the monitorship process; (viii) the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; and (ix) proposals for corporate criminal reform. The seminar will introduce students to this multi-faceted area of the law, and expose students to real-world considerations involved in advising corporate clients and their officers, directors, and employees. This is a three-credit class. The student's grade will be based on a major paper (20-25 pages) and class participation. Papers are eligible to satisfy the writing project (WP) requirement and will be due approximately four weeks after final exams for the Winter quarter.


  • Winter 2021, Andrew S. Boutros
  • Winter 2020, Andrew S. Boutros
  • Winter 2019, Andrew S. Boutros
  • Winter 2018, Andrew S. Boutros

Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project Clinic

The Project provides law and social work students the supervised opportunity to represent children and young adults accused of crime in juvenile and criminal court. Representation includes addressing the social, psychological and educational needs of our clients and their families. In addition to direct representation, students are involved in policy reform and public education including work with coalitions on issues of juvenile life without parole, youth violence, mass incarceration, and the collateral consequences of conviction. Students will participate in case selection and litigation strategies. Students will be expected to do legal research and writing including drafting motions and memoranda on various legal issues, i.e. evidentiary questions, sentencing, etc. and brief writing. Additionally, students will do pre-trial investigation and fact development including interviewing clients and witnesses. 3L students who have taken a trial practice course will have the opportunity to argue motions and second chair hearings and trials. Policy work will include general research on issues, drafting statement and position papers and attendance at meetings. Corequisites: Evidence is recommended, but not required. Trial Practice is a corequisite for rising 3L's. Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Spring 2021, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Winter 2021, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Autumn 2020, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Spring 2020, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Winter 2020, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Autumn 2019, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Spring 2019, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Winter 2019, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Autumn 2018, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Spring 2018, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Winter 2018, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Autumn 2017, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers and Randolph Stone

Criminal Procedure I: The Investigative Process

This course covers the constitutional law regulating the investigatory process, including searches, seizures, and confessions. The grade is based on a final 8 hour take-home examination./The grade is based on a final examination.


  • Spring 2021, John Rappaport
  • Winter 2021, Richard McAdams
  • Autumn 2020, Sharon Renee Fairley
  • Winter 2020, Sharon Renee Fairley
  • Autumn 2019, John Rappaport
  • Spring 2019, John Rappaport
  • Winter 2019, Richards McAdams
  • Spring 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2018, John Rappaport

Criminal Procedure II: From Bail to Jail

Criminal Procedure II surveys the procedural and constitutional rules that govern the court process in a criminal case, with a focus on Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. Topics may include: bail and pretrial detention, the preliminary hearing, the grand jury, litigating racial bias, venue, the charging instrument, joinder/severance, discovery, trial, confrontation rights, plea bargaining, jury selection, and sentencing. We also examine prosecutorial discretion, legal and ethical issues surrounding the representation of criminal defendants, and the pervasive roles of race and poverty in the criminal legal system. Guest speakers typically include 2 to 3 U.S. District Court judges, a federal magistrate judge, and a current or former Assistant U.S. Attorney. (IMPORTANT: Criminal Procedure I is not a prerequisite, and no knowledge of Criminal Procedure I is needed for this course. Criminal Procedure I examines the rules that govern police investigations, while this course covers the next chronological stage-the court process.) This class has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Spring 2021, Alison Siegler
  • Spring 2020, Alison Siegler
  • Spring 2019, Alison Siegler
  • Spring 2018, Alison Siegler

Criminal Procedure III: Further Issues in Criminal Adjudication

We will cover a variety of criminal procedure topics not addressed elsewhere including: double jeopardy and criminal collateral estoppel, appellate review standards, and joinder. We will also cover in depth post-conviction review and federal habeas corpus proceedings, which is especially beneficial to those students with or interested in judicial clerkships. This class has an 8 hour final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Winter 2021, Adam Karl Mortara

Current Issues in Criminal and National Security Law

This seminar covers a series of current issues in criminal and national security law, often comparing and contrasting the two approaches, with a focus on war power and uses of military force, drone strikes, challenges arising from acts of terrorism and national security prosecutions (including a focus on substantive terrorism offenses, espionage offenses as well as the leaking of classified information), a discussion of criminal investigative tools and intelligence activities, application of constitutional principles to terrorism investigations and prosecutions (particularly the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments and the application of Miranda, Quarles and Corley decisions and certain state bar rules in that context), and in other select topics, including the Classified Information Procedures Act, economic sanctions, and national security leaks. Each class will focus on a different topic, with advance reading assigned around each topic, and grading on the basis of two short reflection papers (3-5 pages each) and a final paper in the form of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion (20-25 pages, including a majority and dissent) on a select issue in criminal and national security law. Participation may be considered in final grading. Guest speakers may be invited to help facilitate discussion on certain topics. Criminal law is prerequisite.


  • Winter 2021, Michael Y. Scudder and Patrick J. Fitzgerald
  • Winter 2020, Michael Y. Scudder and Patrick J. Fitzgerald
  • Winter 2019, Patrick J. Fitzgerald


This seminar will explore the legal issues raised by cybercrime. Topics will include: computer hacking and other computer crimes, the Fourth Amendment and civil liberties in cyberspace, the law of electronic surveillance, the freedom of speech online, technological tools used to combat cybercrime, and international cybercrime. Students are required to participate in class sessions, prepare short response papers, and write a paper on an approved topic. Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Winter 2021, Sean Driscoll and William Ridgeway
  • Spring 2019, Sean Driscoll and William Ridgeway

The Empirical Analysis of Crime and Criminal Justice Policy

During the past several decades, the United States has experienced a huge expansion of its incarcerated population making mass incarceration one of the nation's most important social justice issues.  At the same time, the proliferation of computing resources and the increasing availability of large administrative datasets has given social scientists the opportunity to produce empirical research that improves our understanding of the causes and consequences of this new, expansive criminal justice system.  In this course, students will read a selection of these empirical studies while also learning the basic concepts needed to become an educated consumer of empirical research in general.  The course will cover topics spanning the entire breadth of the criminal justice process, including policing, prosecution, sentencing, post-incarceration outcomes, and more. A series of reaction papers will be required.


  • Spring 2021, Ryan Sakoda

Exoneration Project Clinic

The Exoneration Project is a post-conviction clinical project that represents people convicted of crimes of which they are innocent. Students working in our Project assist in every aspect of representation including selecting cases, advising clients, investigating and developing evidence, drafting pleadings, making oral arguments, examining witnesses at evidentiary hearings, and appellate litigation. Through participation in our Project, students explore issues of error and inequality in the criminal justice system, including police and prosecutorial misconduct, the use of faulty scientific evidence, coerced confessions, unreliable eyewitness testimony, and ineffective assistance of counsel. The Exoneration Project is an intensive, rigorous experience designed for students who are committed to providing the best possible representation to deserving clients. Second-year students wishing to enroll in the Project are encouraged to take Evidence in their second year. Third-year students are required to complete, prior to their third year, Evidence and the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop (although we recognize that that may not be possible under current circumstances). Students are also strongly encouraged but not required to take Criminal Procedure I and II. Students will receive credit for the work they do in accordance with the credit rules for all other clinical programs. Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Spring 2021, Russel Ainsworth, Karl Arthur Leonard, and Lauren Myerscough-Mueller
  • Winter 2021, Russel Ainsworth, Karl Arthur Leonard, and Lauren Myerscough-Mueller
  • Autumn 2020, Russel Ainsworth, Karl Arthur Leonard, and Lauren Myerscough-Mueller
  • Spring 2020, Joshua Tepfer, Karl Arthur Leonard, and Russel Ainsworth
  • Winter 2020, Joshua Tepfer, Karl Arthur Leonard, and Russel Ainsworth
  • Autumn 2019, Joshua Tepfer, Karl Arthur Leonard, and Russel Ainsworth
  • Spring 2019, Tara Thompson, David Owens, and Joshua Tepfer
  • Winter 2019, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth, and Karl Leonard
  • Autumn 2018, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth, and Karl Leonard
  • Spring 2018, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, and Russell Ainsworth
  • Winter 2018, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, and Russell Ainsworth
  • Autumn 2017, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, and Russell Ainsworth

Federal Criminal Justice Clinic

The Federal Criminal Justice Clinic is the first law school clinic in the country to focus on representing indigent clients charged with federal felonies. The FCJC gives students a unique opportunity to represent individual clients in federal court. FCJC students also engage in policy advocacy and systemic reform efforts, with a focus on combating racial disparities and racially discriminatory practices. The FCJC is currently leading a Federal Bail Reform Project through which students have engaged in legislative advocacy before Congress and have created the first federal courtwatching initiative in the country.

The FCJC litigates in federal district court in Chicago, before the Seventh Circuit, and in the U.S. Supreme Court. In our district court litigation, FCJC students may have an opportunity to interview clients and witnesses; meet with clients; conduct and participate in hearings and trials; research, write, and argue motions and briefs; and participate in case investigations. During the pandemic, FCJC students have continued representing clients virtually and have litigated numerous successful motions for compassionate release. Students involved in appellate litigation write briefs to the Seventh Circuit and the Supreme Court and may conduct oral argument in the Seventh Circuit.

The FCJC seminar includes skills exercises, simulations, lectures, case rounds, guest speakers, and discussions. The pre-requisites/co-requisites are Professor Siegler's Criminal Procedure II course, Evidence, and Criminal Procedure I; these courses may be taken at any time during 2L or 3L year. It is strongly recommended that students interested in joining the FCJC take a trial advocacy course. The FCJC is a year-long clinic. First priority is given to 3Ls; the remaining slots go to 2Ls. Students who want to learn more about the FCJC or who have questions about the enrollment requirements may contact Prof. Siegler or Prof. Zunkel.

Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Spring 2021, Alison Siegler, Erica Kristine Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
  • Winter 2021, Alison Siegler, Erica Kristine Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
  • Autumn 2020, Alison Siegler, Erica Kristine Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
  • Spring 2020, Alison Siegler, Erica Kristine Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
  • Winter 2020, Alison Siegler, Erica Kristine Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
  • Autumn 2019, Alison Siegler, Erica Kristine Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
  • Spring 2019, Alison Siegler
  • Winter 2019, Alison Siegler, Erica K. Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
  • Autumn 2018, Alison Siegler, Erica K. Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
  • Spring 2018, Alison Siegler, Erica K. Zunkel, and James R. DuBray
  • Winter 2018, Alison Siegler, Erica K. Zunkel, and James R. DuBray
  • Autumn 2017, Alison Siegler, Erica K. Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller

Federal Criminal Justice Practice and Issues

This practice-oriented course integrates instruction on federal pretrial criminal procedures and issues with student practice exercises overseen by the instructor. The course will cover federal criminal practice from investigation up to trial, utilizing examples from recent federal criminal investigations and cases. The course will provide opportunities for student performance to develop professional skills and understanding. In particular, the course will provide instruction on (i) federal investigations and related issues (including Grand Jury proceedings and witness immunity); (ii) corporate internal investigations; (iii) federal charging decisions; (iv) initial appearances following arrest and accompanying bail/detention hearings (v) discovery under the federal criminal rules; (vi) pretrial motions and practice; and (vii) plea agreements. Students will engage in periodic practice simulations related to the pretrial stages of a federal criminal case. For example, students will conduct mock witness interviews in the context of a corporate internal investigation, present motions and arguments seeking, and objecting to, pretrial detention, and present motions and argument seeking to exclude or admit evidence. The course thus will provide opportunities for oral and written advocacy focusing on federal criminal pretrial practice. Each class session will also include discussion of practical and strategic issues facing both the defense and the prosecution under real-world circumstances at each pretrial stage. A student's grade will be based on class participation and written and oral performance in the simulated practice exercises.


  • Winter 2021, Michael Doss
  • Winter 2020, Michael Doss
  • Winter 2019, Michael Doss
  • Winter 2018, Michael Doss

Federal Criminal Law

This course surveys the substance and structure of federal criminal law. The appropriate scope of federal criminal law and enforcement is a central theme of the course. Topics examined include: federal jurisdiction over crime and offenses that enlarge the reach of federal criminal law such as mail fraud; federal crimes occurring in markets, including transactions in illegal markets (such as drug trafficking) and illicit transactions in legal markets (such as securities fraud); federal crimes involving corrupt payments, such as bribery, extortion, and foreign corrupt practices; federal crimes involving concealment, such as false statements, perjury, obstruction of justice, and money laundering; the regulation of criminal activity occurring in and through formal and informal organizations (such as RICO), and the allocation of liability between individuals and organizations with particular attention to deferred prosecution agreements.


  • Winter 2021, Sharon Renee Fairley

Federal Habeas Corpus

We will cover the history of the Great Writ and the evolution of the scope of federal habeas corpus review and relief; the Suspension Clause; habeas review in capital cases including stays of execution; alternatives to habeas review; state post-conviction proceedings; and jurisdictional issues in both the trial and appellate courts. There will be an emphasis on habeas review under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which will be particularly helpful for students taking federal judicial clerkships. Students' grades are based on in-class participation, an exam, and optional papers (10-12 pages, if the 3 credit option is chosen).


  • Spring 2020, Adam K. Mortara
  • Winter 2019, Adam K. Mortara

Greenberg Seminar: Cheating

This seminar will explore legal, ethical, and procedural issues inherent in questions of cheating and rule breaking in contexts ranging from sports and academics to private career advancement. We will look at the nature of rules and difficult distinctions that must be drawn such as why some rules are expected to be broken while others are not. We will explore the line between artificial performance enhancement as cheating on the one hand and as positive personal improvement on the other. For example, we will look at the different treatment of performance enhancing drugs in athletics and in performance art. We will also explore how and when law and government should be involved in setting and enforcing rules. Graded Pass/Fail.


  • Spring 2021, Anthony Joseph Casey and Erin Mary Casey
  • Winter 2021, Anthony Joseph Casey and Erin Mary Casey
  • Autumn 2020, Anthony Joseph Casey and Erin Mary Casey

Greenberg Seminar: Crime and Politics in Charm City: A Portrait of the Urban Drug War

We will explore a series of works on crime, politics, policing, and race, with an emphasis on the City of Baltimore: David Simon, "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets," Sudhir Venkatesh, "Gang Leader for a Day," Jill Loevy, "Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America," and all of "The Wire." We will focus particularly on the drug war - the economics and violence of the trade; the culture of the police bureaucracy; alternative law enforcement strategies such as informants and wiretapping; the politics of race, crime rates, and legalization; and the effects of addiction. But these works also examine the effects of declining blue collar jobs and weakening labor unions; the effects of race, incumbency, and corruption on local politics; the challenges and failures of education and child welfare agencies; and the role of the city newspaper in self-governance. Preference is given to 3L students. Graded Pass/Fail. Spring meetings will be held on April 8 and May 6 from 7:00-9:00 PM.


  • Spring 2021, Jonathan Masur and Richard McAdams
  • Winter 2021, Jonathan Masur and Richard McAdams
  • Autumn 2020, Jonathan Masur and Richard McAdams

Greenberg Seminar: "Just" Mercy?-The Criminal Legal System in the Crosshairs

"Mass incarceration is the result of small, distinct steps, each of whose significance becomes apparent over time, and only when considered in light of later events." 
 -James Forman
 "If the function of the modern punishment system is to preserve racial and economic hierarchy through brutality and control, then its bureaucracy is performing well." 
 -Alec Karakatsanis
 Today, there is widespread recognition that the criminal legal system is anything but just, and that its horrors are overwhelmingly borne by the poor and communities of color. This seminar will explore a variety of origin stories and critiques of the system through a new canon. 
 We will meet five times over the course of the year, and each class will be structured around one or more of the following books: Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow, Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy, James Forman's Locking Up Our Own, Emily Bazelon's Charged, Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me, John Pfaff's Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform, and excerpts from Alec Karakatsanis' Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System. We will use these texts to examine the genesis of our current punishment empire, the abounding racial and socioeconomic disparities, and various proposed solutions to the mass incarceration crisis.


  • Spring 2020, Erica Kristine Zunkel and Alison Siegler
  • Winter 2020, Erica Kristine Zunkel and Alison Siegler
  • Autumn 2019, Erica Kristine Zunkel and Alison Siegler

Hate Crime Law

This seminar will provide students with an overview of hate crime.  The course will explore the emergence of modern hate crime laws in the United States and the legal controversies surrounding them, including in the context of contemporary social issues.  We will examine the challenges of data collection and the impact of data on policy analysis.  Law enforcement and hate crime prosecution will be reviewed.  The course will also consider the limits of the legal system to effectively address hate crime through conventional methods and discuss alternative options.  Grading will be based on class participation and a final research paper (20-25 pages).


  • Autumn 2020, Juan Carlos Linares
  • Spring 2019, Juan Carlos Linares

Greenberg Seminar: Legal Issues in Game of Thrones

This Greenberg seminar considers legal issues raised in the Game of Thrones TV series. Among other issues, we will consider the implicit criminal law, contract law, and constitutional law (e.g., the rules of succession) in the Game of Thrones, as well as how norms substitute for law when central legal enforcement is unavailable. We will also consider the role of counselors (akin in some sense to lawyers) in the Game of Thrones society. Students should have watched the complete series before the first class session.


  • Spring 2020, Joan E. Neal and David A. Weisbach
  • Winter 2020, Joan E. Neal and David A. Weisbach
  • Autumn 2019, Joan E. Neal and David A. Weisbach
  • Winter 2019, Julie Roin and Saul Levmore
  • Autumn 2018, Julie Roin and Saul Levmore

Greenberg Seminar: Protest, Surveillance and Speech: Black Mirror and Other Dystopias

The pace at which new technology and social media evolve and reshape our lives, altering our social and legal landscape, raises new and old fears and possibilities. This course will explore the role of surveillance and control through works of science fiction and dystopias. We will consider the role of surveillance in facilitating state and public control in pursuit of better (and perfect) governance. We will also consider evolving methods and strategies for dissent and public speech.  In what ways is state and social control helpful and necessary? When does it become problematic? When and under what circumstances do states to tolerate and facilitate dissent? Do we need a new concept of privacy in the modern age or do we need to protect what is being lost?


  • Autumn 2019, Claudia Maria Flores and Nino Guruli
  • Winter 2020, Claudia Maria Flores and Nino Guruli
  • Spring 2020, Claudia Maria Flores and Nino Guruli

Human Trafficking and the Link to Public Corruption

This course provides a comprehensive, practical introduction to the history and present-day reality of human trafficking both domestically and internationally.  In the year of the 20th anniversary of the Palermo Protocol, the course will look back on how far individual states have come in their efforts to fulfill their obligations under the Protocol.  By reviewing the challenges to criminal prosecution first, the course will explore alternative paths to eradicating this transnational human rights crime that impacts over 40 million individuals annually.  Reviewing the array of supply chain laws domestically and internationally first and then exploring industry-wide practices, students will learn to examine solutions from an array of laws that reach beyond merely criminal prosecution.  Recognizing that public corruption plays a significant and powerful role in aiding the crime to continue with little societal repercussions, the course will explore ways in which the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the TVPRA have mechanisms to enforce these violations that provide billions of dollars to the traffickers.   Taught by federal district court judge, Hon. Virginia M. Kendall. This class requires a final  paper of 20-25 pages. Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Winter 2021, Virginia Mary Kendall
  • Winter 2020, Virginia Mary Kendall

Immigrants' Rights Clinic

The Immigrants' Rights Clinic provides legal representation to immigrant communities in Chicago, including individual representation of immigrants in removal proceedings, immigration-related complex federal litigation, and policy and community education projects on behalf of community-based organizations. Students will interview clients, develop claims and defenses, draft complaints, engage in motion practice and settlement discussions, appear in federal, state, and administrative courts, brief and argue appeals, and engage in media advocacy. In the policy and community education projects, students may develop and conduct community presentations, draft and advocate for legislation at the state and local levels, and provide support to immigrants' rights organizations. The seminar will meet for two hours per week and will include classes on the fundamentals of immigration law and policy as well as skills-based classes that connect to the students' fieldwork. Both 2L and 3L students are encouraged to apply. Students must enroll for either 2 or 3 credits each quarter and must enroll for all three quarters.  Instructor note: while many clinic activities can be conducted remotely, there may be some fieldwork activities, such as client interviews and court hearings, that must be conducted in-person. Students who will not be geographically located in Chicago for some or all of the year should speak with Professor Hallett before bidding. Students with questions may contact Professor Hallett at to learn more. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Students will be evaluated on the fieldwork portion of course on the basis of whether they:

  • Fulfill professional obligations to clients
  • Work diligently and zealously towards accomplishing the clients' goals
  • Collaborate with team members and supervisor effectively
  • Show willingness to learn new skills and confront new legal problems
  • Show improvement in legal writing, oral advocacy, and other lawyering skills
  • Willingly incorporate feedback into your work
  • Use reflection to learn from clinic experiences
  • Display responsibility, collegiality, and professionalism
  • Meet internal and external deadlines
  • Attend class prepared to discuss readings and regularly participate in classroom discussions
  • Practice excellent file management and time-keeping


  • Spring 2021, Amber Nicole Hallett
  • Winter 2021, Amber Nicole Hallett
  • Autumn 2020, Amber Nicole Hallett
  • Spring 2020, Amber Nicole Hallett
  • Winter 2020, Amber Nicole Hallett

Immigration Law

This course explores the U.S. immigration system. The course will focus on the federal laws and policies that regulate the admission and exclusion of immigrants. Topics covered will include: the visa system, deportation and removal, the law of asylum, the role of the states in regulating migrants, and proposed reforms to the immigration system. The course will also consider how immigration law connects to both constitutional law and foreign policy. This class has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.


  • Spring 2021, Amber Nicole Hallett
  • Spring 2020, Adam S. Chilton
  • Autumn 2018, Allison Tirres
  • Spring 2018, Adam S. Chilton

Introduction to American Law and Legal Institutions

This course will consider a variety of legal institutions and how they interact to produce a distinctly American configuration of law.  Since Tocqueville, observers have noted that Americans have a distinctly legal mode of organizing society: as he put it "Scarcely any political question arises in the United States that is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question."  More than citizens of other advanced democracies, they seem willing to turn to courts to resolve disputes, from those about mundane traffic accidents to major disputes of politics and public policy, and to emphasize punitive legal sanctions. The causes and consequences of this litigiousness will be explored through the lens of legal institutions.  The course will begin with an introduction to the constitutional structure and then proceed to examine particular legal institutions. Subjects will include the civil and criminal jury, the role of lawyers, the political role of the judiciary,  and legalistic modes of administrative regulation.  The emphasis will be on how the institutions actually operate, and readings will be drawn from both legal and social scientific literature. This class will have a final exam. This class is only open to LLM students and is required for LLM students to take.


  • Winter 2021, Thomas Ginsburg

The Law of Police

This course will comprehensively survey the law governing police in the United States that is not already extensively covered in Criminal Procedure I: The Investigative Process (so a student may take both courses). Topics may include the state and local law creating public and private police; class action lawsuits to challenge stop and frisk policies under the Fourth Amendment; class action lawsuits to challenge racial profiling under the Equal Protection Clause; statutes limiting racial profiling; state statutory law on police use of deadly force and local use-of-force policies; collective bargaining law regarding arbitration of police discipline and use-of-force policies; statutory and constitutional regulation of police surveillance and undercover operations; constitutional regulation of police obtained eyewitness identifications; the constitutional and statutory law of policing public protests; federal influence over local police; section 1983 lawsuits against the police and qualified immunity; the law for prosecuting the police; the law of injunctive relief against police. The grade is based on a final examination.


  • Spring 2021, Richard McAdams

The Law, Politics, and Policy of Policing

In the wake of several highly publicized incidents of police brutality, the American public is engaged in substantive debate over modern policing strategies and tactics and how best to achieve public safety while respecting the rights and dignity of all citizens.  This course will provide an overview of the public safety challenges facing large, urban police organizations.  With the legal framework as a foundation, students will discuss the policy and political considerations relevant to key policing strategies.  Starting with readings that provide the historical perspective on policing, each week will focus on a distinct policing strategy or policy challenge, including topics such as crisis intervention, national security, and gun violence.  Some classes may include invited guest speakers. This class has a final take-home examination. Participation may be considered in final grading. Students may qualify for an additional credit hour by writing a substantial paper. Criminal Procedure is suggested as a pre-requisite, but not required.


  • Autumn 2020, Sharon Renee Fairley
  • Autumn 2019, Sharon Renee Fairley

Life (and Death) in the Law

This seminar will explore the various definitions and valuations of life across diverse areas of the law. Readings will include seminal cases in reproductive rights, assisted suicide, right-to-die, and capital punishment. Background readings in related areas, i.e., scientific journals, papers, etc. will also be required. The seminar will discuss policy decision-making including actuarial analysis and social, medical and religious values inherent, implicit or ignored in the legal analysis. Students will be required to write two response papers, co-draft a statute in one area of law, and participate in jury deliberations. Grade will also be based on class participation.


  • Spring 2021, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Spring 2020, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Spring 2019, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Spring 2018, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers

Military Law

This course is designed principally to provide a broad overview of the legal issues that confront the U.S. military and its servicemembers. The course will touch on military justice, administrative law, operational law, servicemembers' rights, and fiscal law (time permitting). This course is useful for anyone interested in serving as a lawyer in the military, working in the military law area as a civilian attorney, or working in the military or national security area in a policy-oriented position. It is also useful for any future public policymaker or official to have a basic understanding of the legal framework for the activities of our military here and abroad.


  • Winter 2020, Adam Benjamin Spencer

Pretrial Litigation:  Strategy and Advocacy

This seminar will focus on litigation skills and strategies that are instrumental in the day-to-day life of any litigator. Indeed, a lawyer will use many of the same strategies and skills in both the pretrial and trial phases of litigation. Students will learn how to evaluate and develop fact and legal theories; develop themes; take and defend depositions; draft pretrial motions; and use various tactics to prepare a case for trial. The seminar will use a variety of learning methodologies, including lectures and mock exercises.  The student's grade will based on class participation, including participation in mock exercises, and written work product (series of research papers (20-25 pages).


  • Winter 2021, Barry E. Fields
  • Winter 2020, Barry E. Fields
  • Winter 2019, Barry E. Fields

Prosecution and Defense Clinic

The Prosecution and Defense Clinic provides students with an opportunity to learn about the criminal justice system through: (1) a 2-quarter seminar taught by a former Assistant United States Attorney and a career defense lawyer; and, (2) a clinical placement in either a prosecutor's office or public defender's office.  The course will familiarize students with the legal procedures and issues which arise in a typical criminal case as well as ethical and other social justice issues encountered by all criminal justice attorneys and courts.  The clinic provides students with a unique combination of substantive criminal law and procedure, ethics, trial practice, and hands-on experience through a clinical placement.Each student in the clinic will be responsible for securing a field placement and participating in a pre-screened externship program with a federal or state prosecutor or defender office for the winter and spring quarters.  Examples include the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois or the Public Defender's office in any northern Illinois county.  Students will comply with the clinical placement's requirements regarding hours and assignments, and may be expected to research substantive criminal law issues, draft affirmative and responsive pleadings and memos, interview witnesses and clients, assist lawyers with court hearings and where permitted (and with an appropriate 711 license), appear in court under the supervision of practicing attorneys.Other components of each student's grade are: seminar classroom participation; trial practice exercises; journal entries; and, a 10-page practice paper or research paper.  There is no final exam (in either quarter) and students will earn up to seven credits for the course, depending on the placement.  Because of the practical component, the class size will be limited to twelve 2L or 3L students.


  • Spring 2020, Lisa Marie Noller and Molly Armour
  • Winter 2020, Lisa Marie Noller and Molly Armour
  • Spring 2018, Lisa Marie Noller and Molly Armour
  • Winter 2018, Lisa Marie Noller and Molly Armour

Psychological Dimensions of Criminal Punishment (Operationalizing Theories & Methods of Psychology in Criminal Law)

This two-week seminar will introduce law students to how tools of socio-cognitive psychology can be used to uncover empirical insights into the workings of criminal law and its decision-makers, including judges and jurors. We will discuss empirical scholarship that combines doctrinal analysis with theories and methodologies of psychology to identify where and why the legal system's expectations and assumptions about how criminal laws and procedures operate are at odds with the socio-cognitive realities of human decision-making. We will also consider potential legal and psychological routes through which policy makers and practitioners can address these disconnects in order to improve the accuracy and fairness of the criminal justice system. More broadly, we will discuss both the possibilities and limitations of what the theories and methods of psychology can offer to the study and practice of criminal law.  At the end of the course, students will propose their own experimental designs in this regard. No prior experience in psychology is needed. This is a short class that meets 6 times: April 7/8/9/14/15/16 from 6:10-7:55 p.m.


  • Spring 2020, Avani Sood

Race and Criminal Justice Policy

This class will examine issues of criminal justice policy with a lens focused on the problem of racial disparity.  We will assess disparities in the application of the law as well as the racially disparate effects of criminal justice-related practices, and we will consider why those practices exist and whether there are viable alternatives to them, taking into account a variety of perspectives. Specific topics will touch on a variety of stages of the criminal justice process, including policing, bail decisions, prosecution and plea-bargaining, sentencing, corrections, parole, and reentry. Students need not have prior training other than introductory Criminal Law.

This class has a final exam.


  • Spring 2021, Sonja Starr

The Role and Practice of the State Attorney General

All 50 States and the District of Columbia have an Attorney General, each of whom enjoys broad discretion over a range of legal issues. This seminar will address the institutional role of these officials, including their status within their respective state systems and their relationship to the federal government. The course will also address a host of critical and often controversial areas-including civil rights, criminal justice, consumer fraud, and environmental regulation-where state Attorneys General have come to play a leading role on the local and national stage. Students will be graded based on class participation and a final paper (20-25 pages).


  • Spring 2021, Michael Scodro and Lisa Madigan
  • Spring 2020, Michael Scodro and Lisa Madigan