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Criminal Law Concentration

In recent years Duquesne University School of Law has gained new recognition for its innovative programs for lawyers and criminal justice professionals and its timely commentary for the media about criminal justice topics.

Professor Wes Oliver directs the law school's Criminal Justice Program and, along with Professor John Rago, advises students who choose the Criminal Law Concentration. In addition to selecting courses in criminal law and procedure, students can take advantage of events such as Plea Bargaining After Lafler and Frye, a conference that brought together national experts to discuss implications of the U.S. Supreme Court's latest decisions on plea bargaining.

In spring 2014, students in the Fact Investigations class began a partnership with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. During the first semester, teams collaborated on four projects, including one that researched more than 100 mortgage fraud prosecutions in Western Pennsylvania. Several of the projects have been the subject of PG investigative stories and ongoing series. 

In addition to the course, the School of Law has highlighted on the importance of investigation for criminal lawyers and the role of journalists in the criminal justice system through programs for graduate students and the public.

Many students in the Criminal Justice Program participate in DuqCrim, a student-run blog that tracks breaking criminal law stories and offers timely legal commentary. Student fellows involved in DuqCrim also provide summaries of developing case law from courts throughout the country.

Clinical opportunities include participating in the School of Law's Veterans Clinic, the first criminal law veterans clinic in the country.

Learn more about courses and programs featured in Duquesne's Criminal Justice Concentration.

Strongly Recommended Courses

Criminal Procedure: Bail to Jail [3 credits]
Criminal Procedure: The Police Function
Sanctions, Sentencing, and Corrections [2]

Other Courses

Doctrinal Courses

Adjudication: The Judicial Process [2]
Appellate Moot Court [1]
Appellate Practice and Procedure [2]
Expert Evidence [3]
Federal Criminal Law [3]
Independent Research [1 to 3, paper - with approval]
International Criminal Law [3]
Law and Neuroscience [2]
Law and Psychology [2]
Post-Conviction Remedies in Criminal Prosecutions [2]
Practice Before the Minor Judiciary [2, paper]
Trial Advocacy [5]
Wrongful Convictions [2]

Skills Courses

Advanced Legal Writing: Drafting [3, paper - with approval]
Fact Investigations (2 hours)
Negotiation Skills [2]
The Post-Conviction DNA Project: Case Management (2 credits)
The Post-Conviction DNA Project: Conviction Integrity (2 credits)

Clinical Courses

Criminal Defense Externship Program [3, limited credits, clinical]
Criminal Prosecution Externship Program [3, limited credits, clinical]
Federal Litigation Clinic [3, limited credits, clinical]
General Externship Placement and Seminar [3 - with approval, limited credits, clinical]
Veterans Clinic [3, limited credits, clinical]

Few courses in this concentration require or permit writing a paper, so a student seeking to meet the Criminal Law Concentration requirements must meet the overall paper requirement in some other approved manner.