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 2021-22 and 2022-23 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.
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- Access to Justice
- Advanced Criminal Law: Evolving Doctrines in White Collar Litigation
- Big Problems
- Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions
- Corporate Criminal Prosecutions and Investigations
- Counterintelligence and Covert Action - Legal and Policy Issues
- Criminal Procedure I: The Investigative Process
- Criminal Procedure II: From Bail to Jail
- Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project Clinic
- Current Issues in Criminal and National Security Law
- Exoneration Project Clinic
- Federal Criminal Justice Clinic
- Federal Criminal Justice Practice And Issues
- Federal Criminal Law
- Federal Habeas Corpus
- Gender Violence and the Law
- Greenberg Seminars: Cheating
- Greenberg Seminars: Crime and Politics in Charm City: A Portrait of the War on Drugs
- Greenberg Seminars: Order Without Law
- Greenberg Seminars: Rational Do-Gooding
- Greenberg Seminars: The Evil Corporation
- Hate Crime Law
- History and Theory of Policing in America
- Human Trafficking and the Link to Public Corruption
- Immigrants' Rights Clinic
- Immigration Law
- International Criminal Law
- Introduction to American Law and Legal Institutions
- Law and Social Movements
- Life (and Death) in the Law
- Mass Incarceration
- Mass Incarceration and Reform
- Pretrial Litigation: Strategy and Advocacy
- Privacy and Modern Policing
- Prosecution and Defense Clinic
- Psychological Dimensions of Criminal Law
- Race and Criminal Justice Policy
- The Law of Police
- The Law, Politics, and Policy of Policing
- The Role and Practice of the State Attorney General
Access to justice is a persistent and pressing problem in the American legal system. Significant structural barriers prevent people from exercising their rights and from getting fair outcomes from the civil legal system. Moreover, their lack of access to fair and equitable dispute resolution re-enforces existing systems of inequality. Drawing mostly on an emerging empirical literature on access to justice, this seminar will focus on the obstacles to providing quality civil legal aid and on solutions, including making courts less complex, increasing the supply of lawyers, and offering dispute resolution outside of the legal system. This class requires a major paper (6000-7500 words).
- Autumn 2022: Anna-Maria Marshall
- Autumn 2021: Anna-Maria Marshall
This seminar examines timely issues in the investigation, prosecution, and defense of federal white collar crimes. The seminar will challenge students to reason through statutory, doctrinal, and policy issues in practical scenarios from both prosecutorial and defense perspectives. This seminar will cover recurring crimes in white collar litigation in areas such as fraud, public corruption, racketeering, and obstruction of justice and false statements. These substantive criminal areas will be addressed in the context of frequently encountered scenarios in white collar practice, such as interpreting criminal statutes, entity liability, parallel civil and criminal investigations, grand jury practice and defense investigations, attorney client privilege and joint defense agreements, and plea bargaining and sentencing issues. Advanced readings will be assigned on the issues covered. Grading will be based on two short papers (3-5 pages each) written from various perspectives (for example, in the form of a letter from defense counsel to the U.S. Attorney advocating to close an ongoing investigation) and a final paper (6000-7500 words), in the form of a judicial opinion or a memo to a client. Class participation may be considered in final grading. Prerequisite: Criminal Law.
- Autumn 2022: Thomas Kirsch
- Autumn 2021: Thomas Kirsch
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 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 (6000-7500 words).
Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Autumn 2022: David Weisbach and Anup Malani
- Spring 2022: David Weisbach and Anup Malani
- Spring 2021: David Weisbach and Anup Malani
- 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
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 (20-25 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2022: Sonja Starr
- Spring 2021: Sonja Starr
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 (6000-7500 words) 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 2023: Andrew S. Boutros
- Winter 2022: Andrew S. Boutros
- Winter 2021: Andrew S. Boutros
- Winter 2020: Andrew S. Boutros
- Winter 2019: Andrew S. Boutros
- Winter 2018: Andrew S. Boutros
This seminar first explores legal issues relating to covert action, defined as action intended to influence political, economic, or military conditions in another nation or territory without revealing the involvement of the sponsor government. Case studies focus on the events collectively known as the "Iran-Contra" affair, applications in the "War on Terror," cyberwarfare, and other recent and historical events. Other themes include balancing security and liberty, promoting transparency and accountability with efficacy, statutory interpretation and executive power, and the implications of technological change on all of the above. The seminar next focuses on the legal framework for counterintelligence-neutralizing and/or exploiting our adversaries' intelligence activities against US national security interests. Such adversaries may include foreign intelligence services, terrorists, foreign criminal enterprises, cyber intruders, or some combination thereof. The seminar considers both legal and policy issues raised in efforts to prevent adversarial espionage action targeting US military, diplomatic, and economic interests at home and abroad. Throughout the course, students will be asked (in groups and individually) to step into the shoes of various government legal advisers and policymakers and to consider-and advocate for or against as they switch roles and institutions-courses of action based upon the readings and hypothetical scenarios. Students will learn the key separation of powers principles and issues relating to covert action and counterintelligence, the basic statutory and constitutional framework governing the these areas, and how to think about these issues from the institutional perspective of executive branch officials and members of Congress. Grades are based upon a final paper (6000-7500 words), occasional short response papers, and reasonable class participation.
Constitutional Law I is strongly recommended prior to taking the seminar, but not required.
- Autumn 2022: Stephen Cowen and Tony Garcia
- Spring 2022: Stephen Cowen
This course covers the constitutional law regulating the investigatory process, including searches, seizures, and confessions. The grade is based on a final examination.
- Winter 2023: Sharon Fairley
- Spring 2022: John Rappaport
- Winter 2022: Sharon R. Fairley
- Autumn 2021: Trevor Gardner
- Spring 2021: John Rappaport
- Winter 2021: Richard McAdams
- Autumn 2020: Sharon R. Fairley
- Winter 2020: Sharon R. Fairley
- Autumn 2019: John Rappaport
- Spring 2019: John Rappaport
- Winter 2019: Richards McAdams
- Spring 2018: Aziz Huq
- Winter 2018: John Rappaport
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. We study bail and pretrial detention, the preliminary hearing, the grand jury, litigating racial bias, venue, 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 U.S. District Court judges, a federal magistrate judge, and a current/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 course will have a final exam. Participation may be considered in the final grading.
- Spring 2023: Alison Siegler
- Spring 2022: Sharon R. Fairley
- Spring 2021: Alison Siegler
- Spring 2020: Alison Siegler
- Spring 2019: Alison Siegler
- Spring 2018: Alison Siegler
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. Corequisite: Evidence must be taken at some point that the student is in the clinic. Intensive Trial Practice (for rising 3Ls ) is a recommended corequisite but not required.
- Spring 2023: Herschella Conyers
- Winter 2023: Herschella Conyers
- Autumn 2022: Herschella Conyers
- Spring 2022: Herschella Conyers
- Winter 2022: Herschella Conyers
- Autumn 2021: Herschella Conyers
- Spring 2021: Herschella Conyers
- Winter 2021: Herschella Conyers
- Autumn 2020: Herschella Conyers
- Spring 2020: Herschella Conyers
- Winter 2020: Herschella Conyers
- Autumn 2019: Herschella Conyers
- Spring 2019: Herschella Conyers
- Winter 2019: Herschella Conyers
- Autumn 2018: Herschella Conyers
- Spring 2018: Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
- Winter 2018: Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
- Autumn 2017: Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
This seminar covers a series of issues in national security and foreign relations law, with a focus on historical and constitutional foundations, the roles of courts, war power and uses of force (including targeted killings), covert action, military detention of alleged terrorists, military commissions, and select issues of international law. 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 (6000-7500 words), including a majority and dissent) on a select issue in national security and foreign relations law. Guest speakers may be invited to help facilitate discussion on certain topics. Participation may be considered in final grading.
Criminal law is prerequisite.
- Winter 2023: Michael Scudder
- Winter 2022: Patrick J. Fitzgerald and Michael Y. Scudder
- 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. Grading in the course will be based on classroom participation (25%), discussion papers (35%), and the final paper (40%). Cumulatively, the papers should total 6000-7500 words.
- Spring 2023: William Ridgway
- Winter 2021: Sean Driscoll and William Ridgeway
- Spring 2019: Sean Driscoll and William Ridgeway
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 always be possible and will consider appropriate alternatives). Students are 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. Given the nature of our work, students should plan to enroll in the Exoneration Project clinic for at least a year.
- Spring 2023: Russel Ainsworth, Karl Arthur Leonard, and Lauren Myerscough-Mueller
- Winter 2023: Russel Ainsworth, Karl Arthur Leonard, and Lauren Myerscough-Mueller
- Autumn 2022: Russel Ainsworth, Karl Arthur Leonard, and Lauren Myerscough-Mueller
- Spring 2022: Russel Ainsworth, Karl Arthur Leonard, and Lauren Myerscough-Mueller
- Winter 2022: Russel Ainsworth, Karl Arthur Leonard, and Lauren Myerscough-Mueller
- Autumn 2021: Russel Ainsworth, Karl Arthur Leonard, and Lauren Myerscough-Mueller
- 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
The Federal Criminal Justice Clinic is the nation's first legal clinic devoted to representing indigent clients charged with federal felonies, pursuing impact litigation in federal court, and engaging in systemic reform of the federal criminal system with a focus on combating racial disparities.
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. FCJC students also litigate post-conviction compassionate release motions and have secured release for several clients. Students involved in appellate litigation write briefs to the Seventh Circuit and the Supreme Court and may conduct oral argument. On the reform front, students engage in legislative advocacy before Congress and have created the first federal courtwatching projects in the country.
The FCJC seminar includes skills exercises, simulations, lectures, case rounds, guest speakers, and discussions. The pre-requisites/co-requisites are Evidence and Criminal Procedure I; these courses may be taken at any time during law school. It is strongly recommended that 3L students take the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop in September 2022 and that all students take Professor Siegler's Criminal Procedure II class. 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 Profs. Siegler, Zunkel, or Miller.
- Spring 2023: Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
- Winter 2023: Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
- Autumn 2022: Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
- Spring 2022: Alison Siegler
- Winter 2022: Alison Siegler
- Autumn 2021: Alison Siegler and Judith P. Miller
- Spring 2021: Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
- Winter 2021: Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
- Autumn 2020: Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
- Spring 2020: Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
- Winter 2020: Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
- Autumn 2019: Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
- Spring 2019: Alison Siegler
- Winter 2019: Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
- Autumn 2018: Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
- Spring 2018: Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, and James R. DuBray
- Winter 2018: Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, and James R. DuBray
- Autumn 2017: Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
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 (6000-7500 word research series) and oral performance in the simulated practice exercises. Four oral argument presentations will accompany the written papers.
- Winter 2023: Michael Doss
- Winter 2022: Michael Doss
- Winter 2021: Michael Doss
- Winter 2020: Michael Doss
- Winter 2019: Michael Doss
- Winter 2018: Michael Doss
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.This class has a final exam.
- Autumn 2022: Sharon R. Fairley
- Winter 2021: Sharon R. Fairley
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 (3000-3600 words), if the 3 credit option is chosen).
- Spring 2023: Adam Mortara and Taylor A.R. Meehan,
- Spring 2022: Adam Mortara
- Spring 2020: Adam Mortara
- Winter 2019: Adam Mortara
This seminar focuses on the intersection of gender-based violence and criminal law. It examines the evolving legal history of gender violence, including marital rape and domestic violence. It also explores the definitions of rape and consent in both the Model Penal Code and various jurisdictions and how these differences impact the outcome of criminal cases. Students will engage with topics including credibility, juror and systemic bias, the intricate balance between victim and defendant rights, and the historic underreporting and under-prosecution of gender-based violence. The course will conclude with a brief discussion of civil remedies for survivors and their limitations. Grades will be based on a series of short reaction papers and a final (10-12 page) paper as well as class participation.
- Spring 2023: Elizabeth Payne
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 J. Casey and Erin Casey
- Winter 2021: Anthony J. Casey and Erin Casey
- Autumn 2020: Anthony J. Casey and Erin Casey
We will explore a series of works on crime, politics, policing, and race, with an emphasis on the City of Baltimore via the television show, "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. We will 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 and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.
This Greenberg will meet on the following days at 7:00pm:
October 27, November 17, January 12, February 16, and April 13.
- Spring 2023: Jonathan Masur and Richard Mcadams
- Winter 2023: Jonathan Masur and Richard Mcadams
- Autumn 2022: Jonathan Masur and Richard Mcadams
This Greenberg will explore the informal social ordering that takes shape in the shadow of the law and in law's interstitial spaces. We will begin with Robert Ellickson's influential book about how cattle ranchers in Shasta County, California settle disputes outside the governing property rules and in ways that deviate from them. Other topics may include: the informal IP of Roller Derby pseudonyms, extralegal agreements among diamond sellers, dispute resolution among tuna merchants, systems of social sanctions within prisons, and the use of textiles as informal property and currency among enslaved people, women, and others who lacked formal property rights. Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.
- Autumn 2022: John Rappaport and Bridget Fahey
- Winter 2023: John Rappaport and Bridget Fahey
- Spring 2023: John Rappaport and Bridget Fahey
Effective Altruism is an important movement. In this seminar we will read books that favor saving human lives in the short and long run, but we will also question these goals and ask how and why we can do the most good after our law school experiences. Should we work hard and then donate money to good causes, or should we participate in a personal way? Should we care about the environment when it is at the sacrifice of caring about Malaria in parts of the world where people are suffering every day?
You must be free on Thursday evenings after 7pm (for 5 or 6 meetings) in the Autumn and Winter. We will be joined by Visiting Faculty, and we will have dessert or dinner at the Professors' home. Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the autumn quarter.
- Autumn 2022: Saul Levmore and Julie Roin
- Winter 2023: Saul Levmore and Julie Roin
- Spring 2023: Saul Levmore and Julie Roin
This seminar looks at the depiction of corporations as evildoers in fiction. The course materials will include various films, books, and television shows where corporations play major antagonist roles. The seminar will ask whether the depiction is grounded in reality and how it reflects popular views of the role that businesses play in society. We will also explore legal themes related to corporate social responsibility, legal personhood, and corporate criminality while asking how these legal issues interact with the fictional depictions we study. The seminar will meet at 6:30 pm on January 11, January 25, February 8, and February 22. The time and date of the final meeting will be determined later. Graded Pass/Fail and is worth 1 credit which defaults to the winter quarter.
- Winter 2023: Anthony Casey, Joshua C. Macey and Emily Underwood
- Spring 2023: Anthony Casey, Joshua C. Macey and Emily Underwood
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 comparative international approaches to hate crime law, as well as the limits of the domestic legal system to effectively address hate crime through conventional and alternative options. Grading will be based on class participation and a final research paper of 6000-7500 words.
- Autumn 2022: Juan Carlos Linares
- Autumn 2020: Juan Carlos Linares
- Spring 2019: Juan Carlos Linares
We will read from classic texts that influenced the way those who think and write about the police, as well as the police themselves, view the role of the police in American society. This class requires a major paper (20-25 pages). To earn SRP credit, papers will be 25-35 pages and include drafts and revision. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2022: John Rappaport
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 major paper of 6000-7500 words.
Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Winter 2023: Virginia Kendall
- Winter 2022: Virginia Kendall
- Winter 2021: Virginia Kendall
- Winter 2020: Virginia Kendall
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, conduct oral arguments and trials, 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, research and draft public policy reports, and provide support to immigrants' rights organizations.
Past and current projects include challenges to national security detention, a civil rights lawsuit alleging Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment challenges against state law enforcement involved in an arrest that led to deportation, Seventh Circuit appeals of removal orders, representation of asylum seekers and human trafficking victims, suing local police departments for failure to comply with immigration-related Illinois state laws, representing Afghans left behind after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and publication of the first guide to the immigration consequences of criminal convictions for criminal defense attorneys in Illinois.
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. 2Ls must enroll for 2 credits per quarter. 3Ls can enroll for 2 or 3 credits per quarter. Students are encouraged (but not required) to co-enroll in Immigration Law in the fall.
- Spring 2023: A. Nicole Hallett
- Winter 2023: A. Nicole Hallett
- Autumn 2022: A. Nicole Hallett
- Spring 2022: A. Nicole Hallett
- Winter 2022: A. Nicole Hallett
- Autumn 2021: A. Nicole Hallett
- Spring 2021: A. Nicole Hallett
- Winter 2021: A. Nicole Hallett
- Autumn 2020: A. Nicole Hallett
- Spring 2020: A. Nicole Hallett
- Winter 2020: A. Nicole Hallett
This course explores the U.S. immigration system. It 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, forms of relief from deportation, the law of asylum, immigration enforcement and detention, 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.
- Autumn 2022: A. Nicole Hallett
- Spring 2021: A. Nicole Hallett
- Spring 2020: Adam S. Chilton
- Autumn 2018: Allison Tirres
- Spring 2018: Adam S. Chilton
For a legal field that has developed relatively recently, the expectations placed upon international criminal law and its application are both solemn and significant, while seeming to grow yet weightier with each passing year. This seminar will explore the contours of this field through an examination of the structural aspects underpinning international criminal law as practiced today, with particular focus on the substantive legal considerations governing responsibility for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. The class will be conducted remotely from The Hague.
This seminar will have a final exam.
Prerequisite: Public International Law (recommended but not required).
- Autumn 2022: Christopher Lentz
Introduction to American Law and Legal Institutions
This class is only open to LLM students, MLS students, and PhD students from elsewhere in the university. 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. Students may take a final exam or choose to write a major paper (20-25 pages).
- Autumn 2021: Tom Ginsburg
- Winter 2021: Tom Ginsburg
Movements for social justice have always struggled with law as both a bulwark against change as well as a potential tool for reform or even emancipation. This course explores the complex relationship between social justice movements and law, mostly in the U.S. context. Key themes will include (1) how social movement pressures have shaped doctrinal developments across many areas of law, often in underappreciated ways; (2) debates over the role of litigation and legislation in social movement strategy, as well as civil disobedience and other forms of defying legal authority; (3) the role of lawyers in social movements and questions of leadership and accountability, including common dilemmas in lawyering practice. Case studies will be both historical (e.g., Progressive Era, Civil Rights Movement) and contemporary (e.g., Occupy, Movement for Black Lives). Attention will also be paid to parallels and differences with conservative and right-wing legal movements. Grading will be based on weekly discussion questions, class participation, and a final research paper on a topic of the student's choice (20-25 pages).
- Winter 2022: Darryl Li
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 three response papers, co-draft a statute in one area of law, and participate in jury deliberations. Grade will also be based on class participation. This is a biddable class. Priority registration to 3L students.
- Spring 2023: Herschella Conyers
- Spring 2022: Herschella Conyers
- Spring 2021: Herschella Conyers
- Spring 2020: Herschella Conyers
- Spring 2019: Herschella Conyers
- Spring 2018: Herschella Conyers
This seminar examines the growth and consequences of American detention centers, jails, and prisons in this age of "mass incarceration." Nearly 2.2 million people are behind bars, roughly one in every 100 adults, far more per crime than any industrialized nation. If we include persons on parole or probation, one adult in 23 is under correctional supervision. With taxpayers paying costs in excess of $75 billion each year and with African Americans and Latinos overrepresented in the American justice system, some scholars, advocates, and policy makers argue that mass incarceration represents one of the greatest social injustices of our time. This class is taught during a moment of mass activism and bipartisan support for justice reform. As the movement shifts from protests to politics, this class will examine the origins and consequences of mass incarceration, as well as the policy issues and solutions to fix a "justice" system that destroys lives and harms communities, and ask the hard questions: • What accounts for the growth of incarceration? • What are its moral, fiscal, and public safety consequences? • What were the precursors of mass incarceration? • How do we reimagine policing in America? • What roles do race, gender, and poverty play in perpetuating injustice? This class requires a major paper of 6000-7500 words. Participation may be considered in final grading.
Please note: If you have already taken Mass Incarceration and Reform you will not be able to take this seminar.
- Autumn 2022: Roscoe Jones
Mass Incarceration and Reform surveys 21st Century movements to achieve criminal reform, with a focus on efforts to reduce racial discrimination and disparities. We will examine state and federal reform movements in the arenas of bail, sentencing, jury selection, discovery, and exculpatory evidence, among others. Our focus will be doctrinal rather than policy-based, emphasizing the legal, constitutional, and legislative underpinnings of these reform efforts. This seminar will highlight the racial equity concerns that animated many of these reform efforts and familiarize students with key constitutional provisions that have served as bulwarks for criminal reform movements. More broadly, this seminar will provide concrete ideas for how lawyers can engage in movement reform and systemic change. Although we'll focus on reform in the criminal legal system, our discussions will provide tools for those interested in reform in other contexts as well. We will look at criminal reform through a uniquely practical lens, talking through strategic mechanisms that advocates use to transform the law, including systemic impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and court-watching. We will investigate the evolution of each law reform, for example, watching how battle-lines were drawn and redrawn by courts during the federal sentencing revolution that began in 2005. We will also discuss the next frontiers for reform. There are no prerequisites. Grading will be based on a combination of class participation and an exam (8 hour take-home), or class participation and a major paper. Students who only take the exam will earn 2 credits. Students wishing to earn 3 credits will write a major paper on a topic of their choosing, with the option of writing a judicial opinion or a legislative proposal enacting a new criminal reform.
- Spring 2022: Alison Siegler
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 fact and expert witness 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 performance in mock exercises and a series of research papers (6000-7500 words). In addition to the Monday class sessions, each student must sign up for an additional 90-minute session in early February to participate in one of the class's mock deposition exercises. The lecturer consults with the students when scheduling these sessions.
- Winter 2023: Barry Fields
- Winter 2022: Barry Fields
- Winter 2021: Barry Fields
- Winter 2020: Barry Fields
- Winter 2019: Barry Fields
Law enforcement in modern criminal investigations uses sophisticated tools to obtain voluminous, often private, information. These tools can include forensic searches of phones and social media accounts; stingrays; precise location information obtained from phones and social media accounts; wiretaps of phone and social media accounts; and network intrusions/hacking. This course will explore the challenges of trying to regulate these cutting-edge methods.
Students will prepare several short papers, each about 5 pages in length (totaling 6000-7500 words), that will require some outside research. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Winter 2023: Vikas K. Didwania
- Autumn 2021: Vikas Didwania
The Prosecution and Defense Clinic is designed to provide 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 criminal defense attorney; and, (2) a clinical placement in either a prosecutor's office or public defender's office. The goal of the course is to familiarize students with the legal procedures and issues which arise in a typical criminal case as well as ethical and other social justice issues (such as race and poverty) routinely considered by all criminal justice attorneys and courts. The clinic will provide students with a unique combination of substantive criminal law and procedure, ethics, trial practice (through participation in courtroom exercises built around federal criminal cases), and hands-on experience through a clinical placement.
Each student in the clinic is responsible for securing a field placement and participating in a pre-screened placement program with a federal or state prosecutor or defender office for the winter and spring quarters (January through May). Field placements will be formally supervised by coordinators within each program's office, and the faculty instructors will monitor the student's substantive work and performance in conjunction with the field placements. Students must comply with the placement's requirements regarding hours and assignments, which will be considered part of the course grade. In the placements, students 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.
Students receive up to 7 credits for the course.
- Spring 2023: Lisa Noller and Molly Armour
- Winter 2023: Lisa M. Noller and Molly Armour
- Winter 2022: Lisa M. Noller and Molly Armour
- Spring 2020: Lisa M. Noller and Molly Armour
- Winter 2020: Lisa M. Noller and Molly Armour
- Spring 2018: Lisa M. Noller and Molly Armour
- Winter 2018: Lisa M. Noller and Molly Armour
This mini-seminar will explore experimental work on psychological dimensions of criminal law theory and doctrine. Topics of discussion will include theories of punishment, elements of crime, and legal doctrines that impose and absolve criminal liability. This class requires a series of reaction papers. Participation may be considered in final grading. Pre-requisite: Criminal Law. This is a short class that meets on October 13,15,18,20, and 22.
- Autumn 2021: Avani Sood
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 2022: Sonja Starr
- Spring 2021: Sonja Starr
This course will comprehensively survey the law governing police in the United States, beyond what is already extensively covered in Criminal Procedure I: The Investigative Process (so a student may take both courses). Topics include state and local law creating and empowering 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, especially regarding car stops; Fourth Amendment and 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; the First Amendment and statutory law of policing public protests; section 1983 lawsuits against the police and qualified immunity; federal and state law for prosecuting the police; the law of injunctive relief against police; and the policy choice between reform and abolition. The grade is based on a final examination.
- Winter 2022: Richard McAdams
- Spring 2021: Richard McAdams
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. Students can do an exam and a 10-12 page paper to earn 3 credits, or they can do exam only for 2 credits, or major paper (6000-7500 words) for 3 credits with possible SRP credit. Participation may be considered in final grading. Criminal Procedure is suggested as a pre-requisite, but not required.
- Spring 2023: Sharon Fairley
- Autumn 2021: Sharon R. Fairley
- Autumn 2020: Sharon R. Fairley
- Autumn 2019: Sharon R. Fairley
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 (6000-7500 words).
- Spring 2023: Lisa Madigan and Michael Scodro
- Spring 2022: Lisa Madigan and Michael Scodro
- Spring 2021: Lisa Madigan and Michael Scodro
- Spring 2020: Michael Scodro and Lisa Madigan