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 2017-18 and 2018-19 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

Spring 2019, David A. Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert H. Topel, and Kevin M. Murphy

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. Class participation may be considered in final grading. Final grade will be based on a major paper (20-25 pages).

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, David A. Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert H. Topel, and Kevin M. Murphy

Child Exploitation, Human Trafficking & the Supply Chain

Winter 2018, Virginia M. Kendall

This seminar provides a comprehensive, practical introduction to the history and present-day reality of child sexual exploitation and trafficking, as well as to the interconnected web of domestic and transnational federal laws and law enforcement efforts launched in response to this global challenge.  The class will use a text written by the professor and a colleague who have the distinctive perspective of two individuals who have spent their careers in the trenches investigating, prosecuting, and adjudicating these intricate and commonly emotional cases.   The class will offer open debate about child sexual abuse by stripping it of its unhelpful, constricted definitions, and by candidly discussing the state of the law, the criminal justice process, and the treatment of offenders and victims.  The seminar examines today's system of federal anti-exploitation laws including the arrival of commercial supply chain laws; the connection between modern communications technologies, such as the Internet, and the rise in U.S. and foreign child exploitation; the unique challenges posed by transnational investigations; organized crime's increasing domination over the commercial sexual exploitation of children; the current state of the U.S. government's transnational anti-trafficking efforts; the myriad international legal instruments designed to enhance transnational enforcement efforts; how, during investigations and trials, to avoid re-injuring the child-victims; the hallmarks of an effective trial strategy; the most promising investigative and trial avenues for the defense; and, what contemporary research tells us about charging and sentencing-related issues, including victimization and recidivism rates.  Taught by federal district court judge, Hon. Virginia M. Kendall.Final grade will be based on a major paper.

City Policing

Winter 2018, Richard McAdams

This seminar will focus on policing and police reform in large American cities, especially Chicago. We will examine the history of the Chicago Police Department and other large city police departments; recent crime levels in Chicago and other cities; municipal practices regarding hiring, training, unionizing, and deployment of police, including community policing; stop and frisk practices; police shootings and other uses of force; citizen complaints and internal discipline; Fourth Amendment doctrine relevant to policing use of force; and institutional mechanisms of accountability. Students will write a series of reaction memos and carry on a discussion regarding the readings and make a brief presentation about a suggestion for reform in one of the last classes. The grade will be based on the memos, the discussion, and the presentation. Students may qualify for an additional credit hour by writing a substantial paper.

Civil Rights Practicum

Spring 2019, Aziz Huq

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.

Previously:

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

Constitutional Law VI: U.S. Constitutional Rights in Comparative Perspective

Autumn 2017, Rivka Weill

The course explores U.S. constitutional law's position regarding the complex burning dilemmas of the twenty first century. These include the death penalty, hate speech, terrorist kidnapping, immigration, secession and nullification, political boycott, the right to bear arms, torture, targeted killings, election integrity and the rights to vote and be elected, the right to marry, freedom of the press, equal protection and affirmative action, abortion, and religious free exercise (especially as it arises in the context of religious sacraments and religious dress). We will examine these issues theoretically and comparatively using Canada, Germany, India, Israel, South Africa and the United Kingdom as case studies. We will reveal fascinating dialogues within countries and between countries on these issues. Assessment for the course will be based on a combination of class participation (10%) and a take-home final examination (90%).

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

Autumn 2018, Emily Buss

In this seminar, a small number of law students will collaborate with Professor Buss in teaching a course to high school students from the Woodlawn Charter School and the Laboratory Schools on students' constitutional rights in school. Each class will focus on a different case and related doctrine, and will engage the high school students in a discussion of a scenario that asks them to apply the doctrine to new facts. Topics will include student speech and religious exercise, drug testing and locker searches, procedural rights in the context of disciplinary actions, and race and gender discrimination, among others. Before each class students will read an edited version of a Supreme Court case and will prepare to discuss a case study. After each class the high school students will write a brief reflection piece. Each law student will be paired with two high school students, and will interact with those students in and out of class. Law students will check in with the high school students to assist with class preparation, and will review and comment on the students' reflection pieces. During class, law students will help facilitate the small group discussions. Law students will also submit brief weekly reports of their students' class participation and their out-of-class interactions. At some point in or after the quarter (the timing will be at the law students' discretion, within the time frame permitted under the Law School's paper policy), Law Student's will write a paper that discusses one of the topics we have covered, and that particularly draws on the high school students' perspective, shared in and out of class, to develop a theme relevant to the doctrine in question. Students interested in applying for this class should send a note of interest to Professor Buss ebussdos@uchicago.edu.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Emily Buss

Corporate Criminal Prosecutions and Investigations

Winter 2019, Andrew S. Boutros

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, 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.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Andrew S. Boutros

Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project Clinic

Spring 2019, Herschella G. Conyers

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.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Herschella G. Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Winter 2018, Herschella G. Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Spring 2018, Herschella G. Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Autumn 2018, Herschella G. Conyers
  • Winter 2019, Herschella G. Conyers

Criminal Procedure I: The Investigative Process

Spring 2019, John Rappaport

This course focuses on the law regulating the investigatory process, including searches, seizures, and confessions. The grade is based on a final examination.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, John Rappaport
  • Spring 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2019, Richard McAdams

Criminal Procedure II: From Bail to Jail

Spring 2019, Alison Siegler

Criminal Procedure II surveys the criminal process after a case comes into court, from the formal filing of charges through the pretrial process, the trial, and beyond. Criminal Procedure I is NOT a prerequisite, and no knowledge of Criminal Procedure I is needed for this course. While Criminal Procedure I examines the rules that govern police investigations, this course examines the constitutional and procedural rules that govern at the next chronological stage, as the case moves from the arrest through the court process. Topics include: pretrial release and detention, the preliminary hearing, the grand jury, the charging instrument, joinder and severance, discovery, selected trial issues (including confrontation rights), plea bargaining and negotiation, and sentencing. We also examine prosecutorial discretion and ethical issues surrounding the representation of criminal defendants. Guest speakers typically include two U.S. District Court judges, a federal magistrate judge, and a current or former Assistant U.S. Attorney. The final grade is based on an eight-hour take-home examination. Class participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Alison Siegler

Current Issues in Criminal and National Security Law

Winter 2019, Patrick J. Fitzgerald and Michael Y. Scudder

This seminar covers a series of current issues in criminal and national security law, often comparing and contrasting the two approaches, with a particular focus on challenges arising from acts of terrorism and other national security prosecutions (including a focus on substantive terrorism offenses, espionage offenses as well as the leaking of classified information), a discussion of criminal and intelligence investigative tools (comparing Title III electronic surveillance with Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ), 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), the President's war powers and congressional oversight (including discussions of drone strikes, law of war detention, and Presidential and Congressional authority to use military force), and in other select areas, including the Classified Information Procedures Act, and 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 preferably written 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. Guest speakers will help facilitate discussion on certain -requisites: Criminal Law

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Patrick J. Fitzgerald and Michael Y. Scudder

Cybercrime

Spring 2019, Sean Driscoll and William Ridgeway

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 (20-25 pages) (40%).

Exoneration Project Clinic

Spring 2019, Tara E. Thompson, David B. Owens, and Joshua Tepfer

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 working on all aspects of 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. Students are also strongly encouraged but not required to take Criminal Procedure I, and Criminal Procedure II. Students selected for this project will receive credit for the work they do in accordance with the credit rules for all other clinical programs.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Tara E. Thompson, David B. Owens, Joshua Tepfer, and Russell Ainsworth
  • Winter 2018, Tara E. Thompson, David B. Owens, Joshua Tepfer, and Russell Ainsworth
  • Spring 2018, Tara E. Thompson, David B. Owens, Joshua Tepfer, and Russell Ainsworth
  • Autumn 2018, Tara E. Thompson, David B. Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth, and Karl A. Leonard
  • Winter 2019, Tara E. Thompson, David B. Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth, and Karl A. Leonard

Federal Criminal Justice Clinic

Spring 2019, Alison Siegler

The Federal Criminal Justice Clinic zealously represents indigent defendants charged with federal crimes and gives students a unique opportunity to practice in federal court. The FCJC is the first legal clinic in the country to exclusively represent indigent clients charged with federal felonies. We enter our federal district court cases at the time of arrest, take them to trial or guilty plea and sentencing, and then carry them through appeal and beyond. As part of our broader mission to promote fairness in the criminal justice system, we also take Seventh Circuit appeals and write amicus briefs and petitions for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. FCJC students may have an opportunity to interview clients and witnesses; meet with clients at the jail and out on bond; conduct and participate in bond hearings, preliminary hearings, arraignments, evidentiary hearings, plea hearings, sentencing hearings, and trials; research, write, and argue motions and briefs; negotiate with prosecutors; and participate in case investigations. 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 seminar component includes skills exercises, simulations, lectures, case rounds, and discussions. The pre-requisites/co-requisites are 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 Prof. Siegler's Criminal Procedure course in Spring 2019 and the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop at the beginning of 3L year. The FCJC is a year-long clinic and is typically only open to 3Ls. Any slots that remain after bidding closes will be opened to 2Ls. Students who want to learn more about the FCJC may contact Professor Siegler or Professor Zunkel for more information.

Previously:

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

Federal Criminal Justice Practice and Issues

Winter 2019, Michael Doss

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, witness immunity, and search warrants); (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 and hearings. 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.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Michael Doss

Federal Criminal Practice

Spring 2018, Jared L. Hasten and Sharon T. Murphy

Federal Criminal Practice aims to expand students' knowledge of the scope and application of federal criminal law, and will challenge students to think and act as practicing prosecutors and defense attorneys.  The course is taught by a lawyer at Winston & Strawn LLP who focus her practice on criminal law, including representation of individuals and companies in criminal matters and referrals to law enforcement agencies, and a lawyer who works in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.  Among other things, the course seeks to prepare students to bridge the gap between law school and actual practice of federal criminal law.  The course seeks to combine substantive content with practical considerations to help students start to think like a practitioner. The course includes lecture and discussion about significant topics in federal criminal law; guest speakers with prosecutorial, judicial, and private practice experience who will describe the application and implications of these topics; and practical exercises that will provide students with the opportunity to enhance their advocacy abilities both orally and in writing.  The course will review four major areas of federal criminal law: (1) the role and scope of the federal criminal system; (2) federal narcotics prosecutions; (3) federal public corruption prosecutions including use of the mail fraud and honest services statutes; and (4) federal racketeering laws.  Students will gain a working knowledge of relevant case law on these topics, and will also review and apply real cases prosecuted in federal courts in the Northern District of Illinois.  Students will also hear from guest speakers on topics 2-4, who will also provide information about more general challenges and issues that they have observed or experienced in their own practices and will provide tips regarding the upcoming practical exercises, discussed below.  To cover a spectrum of experiences, the speakers will be (1) a federal judge in the Northern District of Illinois who also served as an Assistant United States Attorney for many years; (2) a current Assistant United States Attorney who is early in his prosecutorial career; and (3) a former Assistant United States Attorney who now focuses his practice on criminal defense work at a law firm.   This course is unique in that it will incorporate a practical component, namely: writing and arguing a motion to suppress evidence and a sentencing position; conducting an opening statement; and presenting a short closing argument.  For all exercises students will be divided evenly between prosecutors and defense attorneys.  Students will complete two written and three oral exercises which, together with class participation, will provide the basis for each student's grade.  Because of the practical component, the class size will be strictly limited to 12 students.

Federal Habeas Corpus

Winter 2019, Adam K. Mortara

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).

Gideon, Civil Gideon and Access to Justice

Spring 2019, Atinuke Adediran

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 access to justice, pro bono, limited scope representation, and the role of race and class in access to justice. Readings will include cases, law review and social science articles, and book excerpts. Final grades will be based on a series of short response papers and class participation.

Greenberg Seminar: Blood, Books, and Guns: Crime and Medical Ethics in Literature

Winter 2018, Alison Siegler and Mark Siegler

This seminar studies selected criminal justice topics and medical ethics issues through the lens of novels, plays, and other primary sources. We also explore the centrality of storytelling in lawyering and doctoring. Professor Alison Siegler and her father, Dr. Mark Siegler of the Medical School, bring to this seminar their undergraduate experience as English majors and their respective expertise in criminal defense and medical ethics. Topics include mens rea in Capote; sentencing in Shakespeare; end-of-life decision-making in Tolstoy; and crime, punishment, and ethics in Bob Dylan's music. The seminar meets five times over Autumn Quarter and Winter Quarter.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Alison Siegler and Mark Siegler

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

Spring 2018, Jonathan Masur and Richard McAdams

We will explore a series of works on urban crime, politics, and policing, 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 urban education and child welfare agencies; and the role of the city newspaper in self-governance. Preference is given to 3L students. Graded Pass/Fail.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Jonathan Masur and Richard McAdams
  • Winter 2018, Jonathan Masur and Richard McAdams

Greenberg Seminar: Discrimination in American Institutions

Spring 2018, Adam Chilton and Emily Buss

Although it has been over fifty years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, racial discrimination remains a major problem in America's institutions. In this Greenberg seminar, each session we will watch a documentary film that explores racial discrimination in a different institution that is central to life in America. These will include areas like criminal justice, education, housing policy, political participation, and employment. We will specifically explore the de jure and de facto drivers of discrimination, and ways that legal reforms may help to address these problems. We will also discuss the extent to which the films we watch are successful at identifying and accurately characterizing institutional discrimination, and the power of media to drive awareness and change.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Adam Chilton and Emily Buss
  • Winter 2018, Adam Chilton and Emily Buss

Greenberg Seminar: Sex and Civil Rights

Spring 2018, Jane Dailey and Geoffrey R. Stone

Interracial sex and marriage were regulated in America for more than three hundred years.  After emancipation in 1865, state anti-miscegenation laws became the cornerstone for the postwar world of racial segregation.  These laws remained on the books until 1967, when the Supreme Court declared them unconstitutional in the case of Loving v. Virginia.  This seminar puts issues of sex, particularly interracial sex, at the center of the story of the modern civil rights movement by focusing on the white supremacist South's foundational fears of sexual danger and the state anti-miscegenation laws that articulated and legitimated those fears.  The seminar examines the centrality of sex to each moment in the creation of black rights as well as to the sustained resistance to those rights, and will also address the issue of gay rights in the modern era.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Jane Dailey and Geoffrey R. Stone
  • Winter 2018, Jane Dailey and Geoffrey R. Stone

Hate Crime Law

Spring 2019, Juan Carlos Linares

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.  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 of 20-25 pages.

Immigration Law

Spring 2018, Adam Chilton

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.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2018, Allison Brownell Tirres

The Law of Public Corruption

Winter 2019, Sharon R. Fairley

Recent high-profile prosecutions reflect the threat that public corruption represents to national security and the integrity of our political processes.  Although the quid pro quo of a bribery scheme is a familiar form of public corruption, other forms are less obvious and more difficult to proscribe.  When does a campaign contribution cross the line from free speech to graft?  Is a legislator who weighs the interests of the wealthy over the disadvantaged corrupt?  How do we be sure that an industry titan who has recently passed through the "revolving door" into a government role will promote the public interest over those of her former employer?  This course will focus on the legal infrastructure in place to deter, detect, and prosecute public corruption.  We will explore key topics such as campaign finance reform, patronage, and fraud schemes.  We will also seek to understand how courts give shape and grounding to the anti-corruption principles embedded within the Constitution and promulgated in federal and state law.  Grading will be based on an 8-hour take-home exam.

Life (and Death) in the Law

Spring 2019, Herschella G. Conyers

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.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Herschella G. Conyers

Money and Criminal Justice

Spring 2019, John Rappaport

This seminar explores the pervasive role of money in the criminal justice system. Potential topics include indigent defense funding, "for-profit policing," the "prison-industrial complex," liability insurance, private prisons and police, federal grants, and bail. Readings will be interdisciplinary. Grades will be based on class participation and reaction papers and/or online posts.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, John Rappaport

Pretrial Litigation:  Strategy and Advocacy

Winter 2019, Barry E. Fields

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; draft pleadings and discovery; 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, demonstrations, and participation in mock exercises. Evidence is a prerequisite, but can be taken concurrently. The student's grade will based on class participation, including participation in mock exercises, and written work product (research papers totaling 20-25 pages..

Prison Law

Spring 2019, Emma Kaufman

Courses on criminal law and procedure typically end with conviction. This framework obscures the vast body of law on prisons-and the roughly 2 million people inside them. Why and when do courts send people to prison? How does imprisonment affect constitutional rights? What is the proper relationship between prisons and federal courts? These questions will guide this seminar as we examine the history of prison litigation, the current state of the American prison system, and landmark cases in prison law. Topics covered include mass incarceration, solitary confinement, the treatment of race and citizenship inside prisons, legal limitations on lawsuits against prison officials, and the use of structural injunctions and consent decrees. Students will leave the course fluent in prison law doctrine and equipped to debate the state's legal duties to people behind bars. A series of short research papers will be required.

Prosecution and Defense Clinic

Spring 2018, Lisa Marie Noller and Molly Armour

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.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Lisa Marie Noller and Molly Armour

The Role and Practice of the State Attorney General

Spring 2019, Michael Scodro and Lisa Madigan

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 of 20-25 pages.