SOUTHWESTERN LAW SCHOOL
Criminal Law and Procedure
Southwestern offers a comprehensive program of courses and externship opportunities for students interested in the
area of criminal law. The law school’s convenient mid-city location provides easy access to nearby government
agencies and the courts, and close contacts are maintained with the many Southwestern alumni who serve as judges,
prosecutors and defense attorneys.
The criminal law curriculum at Southwestern provides students with an overview of the criminal justice system through
basic courses in Criminal Law, Constitutional Criminal Procedure and Evidence. The Criminal Law Theory Seminar
further explores theoretical issues related to society’s definition of criminal behavior and the establishment and
enforcement of the criminal justice system. Additional elective courses also cover specific areas within the subject:
Advanced Criminal Procedure emphasizes the practical aspects of procedure prior to and during trial.
Appellate Practice covers procedure and substantive law of commonly asserted appellate claims such as
prosecutorial misconduct, right to counsel, sufficiency of evidence and search and seizure.
Criminal Justice Response to Terrorism examines the history of terrorism as it has affected the United States
and the American criminal justice system's response and policy developments.
Death Penalty Seminar examines some general jurisprudential and moral issues related to the American system
of capital punishment.
Evidence Seminar: Role of the Jury deals specifically with practical and theoretical aspects of the jury,
considering, among other issues, jury selection, composition and the use of social science data to predict jury
Forensic Evidence deals with scientific evidence and the legal principles governing its admissibility during a
Juvenile Law addresses the constitutional rights of juveniles as well as the history and special procedural aspects
of the juvenile court.
Race and Gender Issues in Criminal Justice Seminar explores the role that gender and race play in criminal
procedure, evidentiary and sentencing policy, cultural defenses and other issues.
Trial Advocacy introduces fundamental trial techniques such as jury selection, direct and cross examination,
opening statements and closing arguments for students interested in criminal trial work.
White Collar Crime & Other Aspects of Federal Criminal Law explores the substantive and procedural problems
connected with the federal prosecution and defense of white collar crime.
Wrongful Convictions Seminar delves into the recent developments in DNA testing that have confirmed
that individuals can be convicted of crimes they did not commit.
In addition, courses offered through Southwestern's Summer Abroad Program in Canada and Argentina include
Comparative Criminal Justice, Comparative Criminal Evidence, Comparative Criminal Law & Procedure, Corruption
and White Collar Crime and International Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Policy, among others.
Southwestern’s Externship Program provides opportunities for students to earn academic credit through placement with
public agencies and state and local judges. These experiences sometimes provide opportunities for students to be
involved in cutting edge or high-profile issues. Externship placements in the criminal law area have included:
• California Attorney General,Criminal Appellate Division Out-of- State Placements (Summer):
• Federal Public Defender • City of New York Law Department
• Long Beach City Prosecutor • Clark County District Attorney (Las Vegas)
• Los Angeles City Attorney • Clark County Public Defender (Las Vegas)
• Los Angeles County District Attorney, Major Crimes Division • Federal Court Judges (Nationwide)
• Los Angeles County PublicDefender • Federal Public Defender (Las Vegas)
• Orange County District Attorney • Nevada - 8th Judicial District
• San Bernardino District Attorney & Public Defender • Nevada Supreme Court
• Santa Ana City Attorney
• Santa Monica City Attorney In addition to the traditional courses in the
• Torrance City Attorney criminal law curriculum, Independent Study is
• Ventura County District Attorney available to students who wish to pursue a
• United States Attorney specific interest in this area under the guidance
of a faculty member.
Southwestern University School of Law 675 S. Westmoreland Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90005 Tel: 213.738.6717 www.swlaw.edu
The Julian C. Dixon Courtroom and Advocacy Center
Southwestern has created an incomparable setting for learning practical, innovative advocacy, litigation and
alternative dispute resolution (ADR) skills. Both the courtroom and the ADR suite in the Dixon Center feature the most
advanced audiovisual, digital and multimedia systems available. The specialized technology greatly enhances
communication among judges, attorneys, witnesses and jurors participating in a trial or appellate court proceeding,
or among the participants in a mediation or arbitration. The Dixon Center facilities and the specialized courses taught
there present students with unparalleled hands-on opportunities to practice their skills in a professional context and to
observe real hearings and trials occasionally held in the Center.
Student Organizations and Guest Speakers
Members of Southwestern's Criminal Law Society explore contemporary issues in criminal law through group
discussions and speaker presentations by judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys. Recent presentations by the
Society and other campus groups have included lectures on such topics as "Homicide, First Degree Murder and
Excessive Use of Force;" "The Use of DNA in Forensic Trials;" "Careers in Criminal Law;" and "Adult and Juvenile
(Criminal) Law." The group has sponsored speeches by the California Attorney General, the Los Angeles District
Attorney, and numerous other law enforcement officials. Many other student organizations sponsor lectures with
criminal justice themes. In addition, the Dean’s Roundtable, held three to five times a year, features a Southwestern
alumnus in an informal discussion centered on his/her professional practice and experience. This event gives students
an opportunity to learn from alumni in a more intimate environment and has hosted such prominent alumni as Shawn
Snider Chapman '88, a member of the criminal defense team in People v. O.J. Simpson and counsel for the defense
in People v. Sara Jane Olson; and the Hon. Robert A. Dukes ‘76, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California,
County of Los Angeles.
Southwestern's criminal law and procedure faculty members have extensive experience as both practitioners
and academicians. Internationally recognized faculty experts include: the author of Federal Pre-Trial Practice and
co-author of Evidence: State and Federal Rules; a member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for the
Reform of Criminal Law; a former chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section; a former chair of the Association of
American Law Schools Evidence Section; and several frequent contributors to the print and broadcast media on the
subject of criminal law.
Southwestern is known for producing excellent criminal trial attorneys and other dedicated community leaders, from
the White House (Special Assistant to the President) to county prosecutors’ offices around the country. They include
defense counsel and government attorneys from major high profile cases such as the O.J. Simpson, Menendez, Night
Stalker and myriad other historic trials.
Southwestern alumni also constitute a great presence in the Los Angeles and California judiciary. Among them are
Justice Vaino Spencer ’52, presiding justice for the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal and
the late Justice Stanley Mosk ’35, the longest serving justice in the history of the California Supreme Court.
An additional sampling of alumni practicing in the criminal law field include: Brian Anderson ‘82, Assistant County
Attorney, Minneapolis, MN; Norma Ballard '85, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation; William Crisologo
‘83, Deputy Commissioner, State of California Board of Prison Terms; Matthew Geragos ‘90, Geragos & Geragos;
Matthew Gibbs ‘94; Assistant State Attorney, Miami, FL; Jennifer Graf ‘01, District Attorney, Office of the District
Attorney 2nd Judicial District, Albuquerque, NM; Richard Kaufman ‘80, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Buffalo, NY; Randy
Kung ‘99, Assistant Chief Counsel, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Litigation and Legal Advice;
William Kussel ‘84, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin; David Lawton '99, Deputy District Attorney, Hawaii State
Judiciary, Circuit Court of the Third Circuit; Randall Lee ‘80, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Honolulu, HI; Karen
Loomis ‘91, Deputy District Attorney, Medford, OR; Hon. Lani Miller, Special Assistant to the President, Washington,
D.C.; Yvette Molinaro '90, Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLP; Lt. Leslie Reardanz III '90, Associate Admiralty Counsel,
United States Navy JAG Corps, Naval Special Warfare Training Center, NAB Coronado, San Diego, California;
Barbara Shadie ‘92, Assistant District Attorney, Luzerne County, PA; Richard Price ‘81, Chief Prosecutor, County of
Brazos, TX; Michael Soong ‘86, Prosecuting Attorney, County of Kauai, HI; Lynn Vance ‘85, New York State Crime
Victims Board, Albany, NY.
Not all classes are offered every semester.
Please refer to the current catalog or www.swlaw.edu for course descriptions and additional courses in this area.