Criminal Justice Courses

The following courses related to criminal justice are offered at Wake Forest Law:

103 – Criminal Law (3 hours)
General principles of criminal law, specific crimes, and defenses.

400 – Criminal Procedure Survey (4 hours)
A study of state and federal criminal procedure from investigation through trial and post-trial remedies, including constitutional rights of those accused of crime, suppression of evidence, trial preparation, and guilty pleas. Students who have taken Criminal Procedure: Investigation or Criminal Procedure: Adjudication in the past or those who are currently enrolled in either of those two courses may not register for Criminal Procedure Survey.

405 – Criminal Procedure: Investigation (3 hours)
A study of legal and institutional limits on law enforcement conduct in the investigation of crime, with particular focus on the constitutional limits established by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Topics include searches and seizures, police interrogations, and the identification of suspects. Students who have taken Criminal Procedure Survey in the past or those who are currently enrolled in Criminal Procedure Survey may not register for Criminal Procedure: Investigation.

406 – Criminal Procedure: Adjudication (2 hours)*
A study of the selection, prosecution, and resolution of criminal charges. Topics will be chosen from the following: selection and grouping of charges, availability of defense counsel, pretrial release, discovery, speedy trial preparation, guilty pleas, jury trials, right to confrontation, jury deliberations and verdicts, sentencing, appeal, and collateral challenges to convictions. Students who have taken Criminal Procedure Survey in the past or those who are currently enrolled in Criminal Procedure Survey may not register for Criminal Procedure: Adjudication. Criminal Procedure: Investigation is not a pre-requisite for this course.
* This course may be offered for 3 hours during some years.

416 – Scientific Evidence in Criminal Cases (2 hours)*
The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the spectrum of scientific proof most commonly encountered in criminal cases and their standards of admissibility. The course seeks to educate students regarding the increasingly important intersection of law, science, social science and technology. The course will cover a range of expert and non-expert “skilled” testimony varying widely from a multidisciplinary perspective, including testimony relating to the physical, biological, and behavioral sciences. The overall objective of the course is to ensure that students will gain understanding and proficiency in the use of modern scientific evidence in a rapidly changing area of the criminal justice system. Evidence #207 is a pre- or co-requisite.
* This course may be offered for 3 hours during some years.

426 – Prosecution Seminar (2 hours)
This seminar, taught by a full-time faculty member in concert with practicing prosecutors, will explore the environment, objectives, and challenges of the American prosecutor’s office. Reading and discussion topics will create a dialogue between theory and practice. Students will be evaluated on the basis of a series of practice-relevant simulations and drafting exercises. Enrollment is limited.

433 – Criminal Justice and Popular Culture (1 hour)
The course uses TV series and movies to highlight the criminal justice issues that capture the imagination of scriptwriters. Class discussion illuminates the ways in which the writers get the issues right – and wrong. The course is available only pass/fail.

638 – Social Science, Race, and the Law (2 hours)
Survey of research from across the social sciences and psychology regarding the way prejudice functions in the brain, and potential responses of legal doctrine and institutions to these scientific insights. Topics will be chosen from the following: jury selection and performance, perceived credibility of expert witnesses, cross-racial eyewitness testimony, police profiling, capital-sentencing outcomes, judicial decision-making, and parental rights termination.

500 – Criminal Procedure: Selected Topics (2 hours)*
A detailed study of one or more selected aspects of criminal procedure. The topics covered in recent years have included sentencing law, police accountability, and the jurisprudence of the death penalty. 3 hour section will satisfy the Upper Level Writing Requirement.
* This course may be offered for 3 hours during some years.

505 – Independent Study (1 hour)
Research and writing in selected legal fields under faculty supervision. (No student may earn more than a total of three Independent Study credits in all, and no more than two credits on a single project or from a single professor.)

531 – Juvenile Law (2 hours)
This seminar considers the special procedural and substantive law applicable to children, with particular emphasis given to specialized juvenile courts.

570 – Pre-Trial Practice and Procedure (3 hours)
An exploration of the procedural requirements involved in getting a civil case to trial. Frequent drafting assignments involving pleadings, discovery, and pre-trial motions required. Students can take both Pre-Trial Practice and Procedure and 553 Litigation Drafting.

579 – Federal Criminal Law (3 hours)*
This course is an upper-level elective that supplements the first-year substantive criminal law course. Topics covered include: federal criminal jurisdiction, limitations on federal criminal authority, conspiracy, RICO, drug trafficking, mail fraud, and problems of federal-state jurisdictional overlap. The course is not a seminar. Offered on a periodic basis.
* This course may be offered for 2 hours during some years.

605 – Independent Study: Intensive (2 hours)
Research and writing in selected legal fields under faculty supervision. (No student may earn more than a total of three Independent Study credits in all, and no more than two credits on a single project or from a single professor.)

610 – Trial Practice (3 hours)
A series of classes and simulations devoted to the study of trial techniques, followed by the preparation and trial of a moot case. Prerequisite: Evidence.

611 – Advanced Trial Practice (3 hours)
This course covers several subject areas not covered in depth in the basic trial practice course: voir dire, witness preparation, expert witness examination, and case planning. Students will perform exercises in each of these areas. They will try an advanced civil case for their final exam. The use of PowerPoint is required for the trial. Prerequisites: Evidence and Trial Practice.

627 – International Criminal Law (2 hours)*
This class exposes students to the concepts and enforcement of international criminal law (human rights law; humanitarian law, and the influence of the common law and civil law traditions on international criminal law). Students will explore war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and other international/transnational crimes, such as acts of terrorism. The class also explores the development of national, international and hybrid mechanisms for international criminal law enforcement, including international criminal tribunals and national prosecution.
* This course may be offered for 3 hours during some years.

655 – Law and Terrorism (2 hours)*
This seminar examines the complex array of legal and policy issues generated by the phenomenon of terrorism, with an emphasis on post-9/11 developments. Topics likely to be addressed include: the scope of federal criminal laws relating to terrorism (and constitutional concerns raised by some such laws); the nature of the FBI’s investigative authorities (and constitutional concerns that they raise); the regulation of intelligence-gathering and other activities conducted by other government agencies; the use of military force in connection with counterterrorism policy (including the full array of constitutional, international, and statutory issues raised by Guantanamo, military detentions, targeted killings, and war crime trials); and issues associated with interrogation.
* This course may be offered for 3 hours during some years.

670 – Federal Criminal Practice (2 hours)
This course uses a case study of a federal crime and analyzes it from investigation through sentencing. Students study complaints, pretrial motions, suppression hearings, plea negotiations, and sentencing hearings.

675 – Prosecution Externship (2 hours)
The course is a 2-credit placement in a prosecutor’s office. The faculty member consults with the supervising attorneys in the office to establish customized learning objectives for each students, achieved through a variety of practice experiences. The number of hours that a student spends at work in the prosecutor’s office will be consistent with the hours required for clinical courses. The student will also complete written exercises to promote reflection on the fieldwork. Prosecution Seminar is a prerequisite; permission of the instructor is required.