Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Courses

Professor Richard McAdams

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 2016-17 and 2017-18 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.

Advanced Topics in Criminal Law: Vice and Victimless Crimes

Autumn 2016, Genevieve Lakier

Vice crimes, mostly drug crimes, but also the crimes of prostitution, gambling, and alcohol, are among the most frequently prosecuted crimes in the United States. Nevertheless, because they criminalize consensual behavior, they pose difficult philosophical problems for a system of justice organized around the ideal of individual autonomy. This seminar will examine the problem of vice crime. It will explore the philosophical debates about whether a liberal democratic government has the right, or duty, to criminalize vice. It will also examine the history and the race and class politics of the law of vice. And it will introduce students to the different regulatory regimes that govern the treatment of drugs, alcohol, gambling, and prostitution. The seminar grade will depend upon class participation, two short response papers submitted over the course of the quarter, and a final paper of no longer than 15 pages in length.

Big Problems

Spring 2018, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, Kevin 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. This class requires instructor consent. Interested students should email their CV to Professor Weisbach and Professor Malani at and Final grade will be based on a major paper (20-25 pages).


  • Spring 2017, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, Kevin Murphy

Chicago Policing

Spring 2017, Richard McAdams

We will study American policing and police reform by focusing on the example of Chicago. We will start with the history of the Chicago Police Department and calls for reform before turning to recent and current events. We will have outside speakers who will present in the seminar and/or at lunch talks. Beyond history, topics will include: crime in Chicago; basic police practices regarding hiring, training, collective bargaining, arbitration, deployment (including community policing); the significance of neighborhoods and politics; Stop and Frisk practices; police violence, especially shootings and the torture scandal; citizen complaints and internal discipline; and mechanisms of accountability. Students will participate in the discussion and write a series of reaction memos about the readings and speakers, which will include attendance at a chosen subset of relevant lunch talks. The grade will be based on participation and the memos. Students may qualify for an additional credit hour by writing a substantial paper.


  • Autumn 2016, Richard McAdams
  • Winter 2017, Richard McAdams

Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking

Winter 2017, Virginia Kendall

This seminar provides a comprehensive, practical introduction to the history and present-day reality of child sexual exploitation, 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 seminar 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 seminar 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; 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.

Child Exploitation, Human Trafficking & the Supply Chain

Winter 2018, Virginia 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 2018, 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.


  • Autumn 2016, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2017, Aziz Huq
  • Spring 2017, Aziz Huq
  • Autumn 2017, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2018, 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%).


  • Autumn 2016, Rosalind Dixon

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

Winter 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 also possible from 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 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 by October 6, 2017.

Corporate Criminal Prosecutions and Investigations

Winter 2018, Andrew 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 four weeks after final exams for the Winter quarter.


  • Winter 2017, Andrew Boutros

Counterintelligence and Covert Action - Legal and Policy Issues

Spring 2017, Stephen Cowen and Tony Garcia

This course uses the case method to study the practical aspects of important topics in corporate and entrepreneurial finance. We will apply the concepts and techniques of corporate finance to actual situations. The course is roughly divided into three sections: (1) financing decisions; (2) investment decisions; (3) entrepreneurial finance; and (4) private equity finance. In addition to analyzing the specific financing problems or issues, we will consider how those issues relate to the strategic objectives of the firm. It will be important to examine the "big picture" assumptions that are used in the numerical calculations. This course also places a strong emphasis on presentation and discussion skills. It will be important to explain your positions or arguments to each other and to try to argue for the implementation of your recommendations. COURSE PROCEDURES For each class meeting, I will assign study questions concerning one or two case studies. For most of the class period, we will consider the questions and the material in the cases. This includes the first meeting. You are allowed and encouraged, but not required to meet in groups outside of class to discuss and analyze the cases. Each group will submit a two-page memorandum of analysis and recommendations at the beginning of each case discussion. If you are working in a group, I will accept one memorandum from the group and count it for all students in the group. If you choose to do this, the group can include up to 3 students. Each memorandum should be typed and double-spaced. Write these as if you were writing a recommendation to the CEO or major decision maker in the case. The two page limit is for text only. You may attach as many numerical calculations as you wish. Memoranda will not be accepted after the class has met. A memorandum will be given credit if it is handed in and no credit if it is not. Initially, therefore, I will not grade them. However, I will use the memoranda to determine final grades for those students who are on the border of two grades. You should prepare a memorandum for UST, the first class. The readings and articles that I have assigned and will hand out are largely non-technical in nature and summarize the findings of academic research in corporate finance in the recent past. These articles are meant to be background material that will help you analyze the cases. They should not necessarily be cited in the case discussion. You should argue as if you were in a corporate boardroom rather than in a doctoral seminar. The process of arriving at the answer is as important as getting the answer. Because of the nature of this course (and its grading criteria), it is extremely important that you attend every class, arrive on time and be prepared to participate. To help me out, you should bring your name cards to each class. I may not remember who said what without those cards. In the past, students have asked me to hand out my case analysis after the class has discussed the case. I will not do this, because there are usually no absolute right answers. The best cases are deliberately written to be ambiguous. While there are no right answers, there are good arguments and bad arguments. This course is designed to help you learn to distinguish between sensible and senseless arguments. Handing out my analyses would reduce the ambiguity in the cases and partially defeat the purpose of doing cases. If you are uncomfortable with ambiguity, this class may not be for you.

Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project Clinic

Spring 2018, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone

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.


  • Autumn 2016, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Winter 2017, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Spring 2017, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Autumn 2017, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Winter 2018, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone

Criminal Procedure I: The Investigative Process

Spring 2018, Aziz Huq

The course focuses on the constitutional law regulating searches, seizures, and confessions. It considers both physical searches and seizures and also searches and seizures of electronic data. Grades are based on a final examination and class participation.


  • Winter 2017, John Rappaport
  • Spring 2017, Louis Michael Seidman
  • Winter 2018, John Rappaport

Criminal Procedure II: From Bail to Jail

Spring 2018, 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 procedural rules that govern police investigations, this course examines the 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, as well as ethical issues surrounding the representation of criminal defendants. Various guest speakers typically visit class, including federal district court judges, an Assistant United States Attorney, and a criminal defense lawyer. The final grade is based on an eight-hour take-home examination.

Criminology and Criminal Procedure

Spring 2017, Ben Grunwald

This seminar uses social science research to examine the empirical assumptions of rules and systems of criminal law and procedure. We will cover a series of empirical questions that are likely to include: (1) Does the death penalty deter crime? (2) Are there alternatives to incarceration that can keep us safe? (3) Does stop and frisk policing reduce crime? (4) Is there racial disparity in sentencing, and can we do anything about it? (5) Are juries any better than judges at fact-finding? (6) What is the right age of majority to separate the juvenile and adult justice systems? While some background in social science research and statistics may be helpful, it is not a requirement for the course. Students will be evaluated based on class participation and a series of reaction papers (two credits). They may earn a third credit by writing a short research paper (10-15 pages) in addition to the rest of the coursework.

Current Issues in Criminal and National Security Law

Winter 2018, Patrick Fitzgerald and Michael 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 topics. Pre-requisites: Criminal Law


  • Winter 2017, Patrick Fitzgerald and Michael Scudder


Winter 2017, William Ridgway and Sean Donovan Driscoll

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. No previous experience is required. Students are required to participate in class sessions, prepare short response papers, and write a paper on an approved topic. Students may opt to write a major research paper for three credits.

Exoneration Project Clinic

Spring 2018, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth

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.


  • Autumn 2016, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth
  • Winter 2017, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth
  • Spring 2017, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth
  • Autumn 2017, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth
  • Winter 2018, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth

Federal Criminal Justice Clinic

Spring 2018, Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, James DuBray

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 II course in Spring 2018 and take the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop at the beginning of 3L year (or another trial advocacy course). 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.


  • Autumn 2016, Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, Judith Miller
  • Winter 2017, Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, Judith Miller
  • Spring 2017, Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, Judith Miller
  • Autumn 2017, Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, Judith Miller
  • Winter 2018, Alison Siegler, Erica Zunkel, James DuBray

Federal Criminal Justice Practice and Issues

Winter 2018, 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.

Federal Criminal Practice

Spring 2018, Jared Hasten and Shannon 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 2017, Adam 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.

Federal Sentencing: Balancing Judicial and Prosecutorial Discretion

Winter 2017, Alison Siegler

The Supreme Court has dramatically changed the federal sentencing landscape in the past decade, making federal sentencing the least settled and most dynamic area of federal criminal jurisprudence. This seminar examines the federal sentencing revolution and its aftermath. We study the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and recent Supreme Court cases that try to define the Guidelines proper role in sentencing. We discuss the ongoing struggle to balance judicial discretion and prosecutorial discretion, and the fundamental tension this creates between district courts and courts of appeals, and between the judicial and executive branches. We also explore the tension between ensuring consistency across cases and individualizing punishment. Reading materials are varied and include Supreme Court and lower court cases, the United States Sentencing Guidelines, law review articles, Sentencing Commission studies and reports, and Department of Justice internal directives. Various guest speakers will visit class, including a federal district court judge and an Assistant United States Attorney. Each student is expected to research and write a 20-25 page paper in response to a specific assignment. Students will be graded based on their written submissions and class participation. Second-year students interested in participating in the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic during their 3L year are strongly encouraged to enroll in this seminar, although it is not a prerequisite or corequisite for the clinic.

Gender-Based Violence

Autumn 2016, Neha Lall

Arrest and criminal prosecution is only one of many potential legal responses to gender-based violence. This course will focus on domestic and sexual violence and the ways in which survivors are affected by the complex intersection of poverty, legal systems, and social service responses. The course will explore the civil legal remedies available to survivors under federal and state laws, including the Violence Against Women Act, as well as the multiple ways survivors are impacted by family law systems and other laws that affect their economic and social stability. Specifically, students will study immigration remedies, housing protections, education complaint procedures, and employment rights available to survivors. Students will assess the effectiveness of these tools through case studies. The students will be evaluated based on class participation and will have the choice of a take-home final exam (for 2 credits) or, with instructor approval, a major final research paper (for 3 credits).

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

Winter 2017, 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, Professor 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 Dylan's music. Graded Pass/Fail.


  • Autumn 2016, Alison Siegler and Mark Sielger

Greenberg Seminar: Cheating

Spring 2017, Anthony Casey and Erin Casey

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.


  • Autumn 2016, Anthony Casey and Erin Casey
  • Winter 2017, Anthony Casey and Erin Casey

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

Spring 2017, 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.


  • Autumn 2016, Jonathan Masur and Richard Mcadams
  • Winter 2017, 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.


  • 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 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.


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

Greenberg Seminar: Wrongful Convictions

Spring 2017, Adam Chilton and John Rappaport

In recent years, investigative journalists, legal activists, and documentary filmmakers have highlighted the shortcomings of the American criminal justice system by giving wrongful convictions widespread public awareness. In this Greenberg seminar, we will watch documentary films on wrongful convictions and discuss the elements of the criminal justice system that make these mistakes possible. We will specifically explore many of the drivers of wrongful convictions, including racism, prosecutorial misconduct, and the limits of forensic evidence. We will also discuss how wrongful convictions are portrayed in the media and why they gain such widespread public interest.


  • Autumn 2016, Adam Chilton and John Rappaport
  • Winter 2017, Adam Chilton and John Rappaport

Hate Crime

Winter 2018, Cynthia Shawamreh

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.

Immigration Law 

Spring 2018, Adam S. 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.


  • Spring 2017, Adam S. Chilton

Money and Criminal Justice

Spring 2018, 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.


  • Autumn 2016, John Rappaport

The New Jim Crow

Autumn 2016, Todd Belcore

While lawyers often use their skills to argue facts given the constraints of current law; they too rarely use their skills to actually create or change the laws that constrain them. This course hones students' ability to do both. Students will hone these skills as they learn about, and fight against, the "New Jim Crow," which refers to discriminatory laws, policies and practices that prevent people with criminal records, disproportionately men and women of color, from accessing basic necessities like employment and housing. With that lens in mind, this course will give students an opportunity to: 1 - Engage the men, women and youth impacted by the New Jim Crow in community and class settings; 2 - Research laws, policies, practices and pending legislation relating to the criminal justice system from across the world; 3 - Learn how to craft, draft, and present model legislation and policies designed to eradicate the New Jim Crow; 4 - Convert legal concepts into training materials that are easily digestible by lay-people and present them in a community setting; and, 5 - Write and present a 20-page research paper detailing the students' policy recommendation with appendices that include concise fact sheets relating to the model legislation presented.

Prosecution and Defense Clinic

Spring 2018, Lisa 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.


  • Winter 2018, Lisa Noller and Molly Armour

Public Corruption and the Law

Spring 2018, David Hoffman

This seminar will focus on how governments use the law to prevent and catch public corruption, how the law is sometimes used to protect public corruption, and how one should determine the optimal response to corruption and its consequences. We will examine the substantive criminal laws and sentencing schemes used in the best public corruption prosecutions, ranging from RICO and "honest services" fraud to bribery and extortion laws. We will also examine the laws that create, authorize, or prevent the most effective investigative tools used by law enforcement against public corruption, including wiretap laws and related privacy issues. We will study several key topics within public corruption law, including patronage, its effect on democratic institutions, and its status under the First Amendment; campaign finance reform and whether money in campaigns is protected speech or a corrupting influence (or both); and the relationship between transparency, online access to information, and corruption. We will also consider an economic analysis of public corruption, including questions about whether the level of democracy, and the pervasiveness of corruption in the culture, affect the cost-benefit analysis. Constitutional Law I and II are recommended pre-requisites. Students taking the class for 3 credits write one short reaction paper (or short research paper if appropriate), and one major paper. Those taking it for 2 credits write several short reaction papers.


  • Spring 2017, David Hoffman

Race and American Law: Identity, Education, and Criminal Justice

Spring 2017, LaToya Baldwin Clark

After Obama's historical election, many declared that the United States had finally become a post-racial nation. The assumption was that if the country could elect a black President, then surely racism and prejudice were evils of the past. But then came the killings of Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner and others, and the community responses in Ferguson, Baltimore, and other cities across the country. These events, in turn, led to several criminal trials and federal investigations, and showed the salience of race in the operation of the criminal justice system. The assertion that "Black Lives Matter" became a rallying cry, and what started as a hashtag turned into a movement. This seminar will examine the role of law in creating and recreating race in our decidedly non-post-racial society. Topics covered will include racial identity, education, and criminal justice. Readings will include cases to understand the "law on the books;" law review articles to understand how legal academics interact the law and its implications; and social science research to understand "law in action." Students will be evaluated as follows. For 2 credits, students will write three response papers, 4-5 pages each, on 3 different set of readings, due the day before that class meets. For students wishing to take the course for 3 credits, the student must write a 20-25 page research paper on a topic of interest to the student and approved by the instructor.

Young Center Immigrant Child Advocacy Clinic

Spring 2018, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu

The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights gives students the unique opportunity to work one-on-one with unaccompanied immigrant children who come to the United States without a parent or legal guardian to flee violence, abuse, and/or poverty. Students in the clinic draw upon international human rights law, immigration law, and children's rights, and child welfare law to support their advocacy. Unaccompanied immigrant children come to the U.S. from all corners of the world, on their own. They are apprehended, typically at the U.S./Mexico border, then detained and placed in deportation proceedings. Students serve the most vulnerable of these children, advocating for the best interests of each child on issues relating to care, custody, release, legal relief, and safe repatriation. Because there is no federal law that affords special protections to immigrant children, students enlist state child welfare laws and international human rights instruments to support their advocacy. The Clinic also offers opportunities in legislative and policy advocacy aimed at reforming the immigration system to better protect the rights of children. Each student is trained to serve as federally-appointed Child Advocate (similar to a guardian ad litem role) for unaccompanied immigrant children detained in the Chicagoland area. Students meet weekly with the child, and advocate on behalf of the child with federal officials, including ICE officials, immigration judges, and asylum officers. The Clinic admits both 2Ls and 3Ls. We strongly encourage enrollment in the Fall Quarter, and recommend taking this course for at least two quarters. We do not require students to speak a language other than English, but we encourage students who speak Spanish, French, Mandarin, Romanian, or American Sign Language to apply. Students who enroll in the clinic must: 1. Participate in a 2-day training in October 2017; and 2. Participate in weekly class meetings throughout the course. Please contact the clinicians below if you have any questions, or would like to request an accommodation: Jajah Wu at, Kelly Kribs at, Marcy Phillips at, or Maria Woltjen at For more information, visit:


  • Autumn 2016, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
  • Winter 2017, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
  • Spring 2017, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
  • Autumn 2017, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
  • Winter 2018, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu