Introduction

The University of Mississippi School of Law is proud to offer a Criminal Law concentration. Through this concentration of courses, students interested in criminal law are able to immerse themselves in the field of criminal law during their academic studies. Upon successfully completing the requirements of the Criminal Law concentration, the student will be awarded a certificate evidencing their completion of the requirements for the concentration. The students will also have a notation reflecting their successful completion of the Criminal Law concentration made in their official law school transcript.

Overview of Program

The Criminal Law concentration is designed to provide students with a broad-based exposure to concepts, topics and skills vital to criminal law practitioners. The Criminal Law concentration prepares students for careers in criminal law as local, state and federal prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, public defenders and public interest litigators.

To participate in and successfully complete a Criminal Law concentration, students must comply with the course requirements described below. Upon graduation, a student who successfully completes all requirements for the Criminal Law concentration will receive a certificate attesting to such. A notation reflecting successful completion of the Criminal Law Concentration will also be made in the student’s transcript.

A combined grade point average of 2.5 in all concentration courses must be achieved in order to successfully complete the concentration.  Students earning a combined grade point average of 3.2 or higher in all concentration courses will have “with honors” reflected on their certificates. The “with honors” notation will only appear in a student’s Criminal Law concentration certificate. It will not appear in the official transcript or diploma. Courses to be counted towards the Criminal Law concentration may not be taken on an audit basis. In cases where a student successfully completes Criminal Law concentration approved courses beyond the minimum required twenty-seven credit hours, the courses where the student earned the highest grades will be used in determining the grade point average.

In addition to receiving a certificate upon graduation, students pursuing the Criminal Law concentration receive priority consideration for the National Center for Justice and the Rule of Law sponsored second year summer clerkship positions. These positions are offered as part of the Center’s Summer Jobs Initiative and consist of paid not-for-credit placements in prosecutor offices and prosecution policy offices across the nation. Although all second year students are eligible to compete for
these positions, preference is given to students in the Criminal Law concentration program.

To receive a Certificate in Criminal Law, a student must complete twenty-seven credit hours in criminal law and advocacy related subjects. Four core courses are required. The remainder of the credit hours can be fulfilled by taking courses from a list of approved elective courses. Each student must also complete a clinical and a writing requirement. The clinical requirement is satisfied by the student taking one approved clinical course, while the writing requirement is satisfied by selecting a course from the elective category that requires a graded term paper, or by writing a graded term paper as an independent study under the supervision of a faculty member. The topic of the paper must pertain to criminal justice and be a minimum of twenty-five pages. The paper should aspire to be of law journal quality.
™The four required core courses are:

  • ƒCriminal Law
  • ƒEvidence
  • ƒCriminal Procedure I
  • ƒCriminal Procedure II
™The currently approved elective courses (clinical courses marked with an asterisk) are:
  • ƒAdvanced Search and Seizure
  • Children in the Legal System
  • ƒCriminal Trial Practice
  • ƒCorrections
  • ƒCyber Crime
  • ƒDeath Penalty
  • ƒFederal Trial Practice
  • ƒFederal Habeas Corpus
  • ƒFourth Amendment Seminar
  • ƒLegal Problems of Indigence
  • ƒProsecution Function
  • ƒSentencing
  • ƒYouth Court Seminar
  • ƒWhite Collar Crime
  • ƒCriminal Appeals Clinic*
  • ƒProsecution Externship Placement*
  • ƒPublic Service Internship placement (limited to public defender placements).*
  • ƒInnocence Project.*
  • ƒAs appropriate, additional courses and Special Legal Topic courses focusing on criminal justice may also be included in this category on a case-by-case basis.