Criminal Law and Justice

Students working in Boley Law Library

Lewis & Clark Law School has an outstanding program in criminal law and justice.

We prepare students for legal practice as a prosecutor or a defense attorney in both state and federal courts, and our graduates routinely find work as government prosecutors, public defenders, and private defense attorneys.

Our students are further prepared to navigate aspects of the criminal justice system that go beyond prosecution or defense of criminal charges. Lewis & Clark Law students learn about and work on victims’ issues, the collateral consequences of criminal convictions, re-entry issues, and post-conviction litigation. Students gain insight into the ways that criminal law intersects with poverty issues and with immigration enforcement. The Law School offers classes that address specialized topics such as cybercrime, environmental crimes, and crimes against animals.

Watch criminal law professor Tung Yin discussing terrorism and national security law.

Certificate in Criminal Law and Justice

Students who have a specific interest in the study and practice of criminal law can pursue a specialized Certificate in Criminal Law and Justice by focusing their upper-division courses in this area. Students pursuing the certificate must complete the required courses (Criminal Procedure I & II, Criminal Law, and Evidence), at least one elective course, participate in a clinic or a practical skills course, and choose a criminal law and justice topic for one of the two upper level writing requirements.

Lewis & Clark Law School offers a wide range of criminal law and justice classes. For specific information, consult the course catalog or the description of the Criminal Law and Justice certificate, both available at the Certificate Programs page.

Practical Skills in Criminal Law and Justice

Many Lewis & Clark students interested in criminal law and justice take classes in advocacy or extern with prosecutors or defense attorneys. We also offer two clinics that expose students to cutting edge criminal justice issues. The Criminal Justice Reform Clinic (CJRC) tackles issues that cut across the criminal justice spectrum, and the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) is the nation’s leading center for advocacy on behalf of victims of crime.

Student Involvement

Lewis & Clark students are deeply engaged on campus, as well as with local and national groups. Students can choose from over 40 student groups. Students with a particular interest in criminal law and related issues should consider participating in one or more of the following student-run organizations:

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