Criminal Law


Pursuant to Academic Regulation 2102, the current Course Catalog is the definitive source of information regarding each concentration’s requirements. Please refer to the catalog for that information.

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The Criminal Law concentration prepares students for a host of successful careers in the criminal justice field, including as prosecutors, defense attorneys, and policymakers.

The concentration offers an excellent practical and theoretical foundation in the law, along with outstanding opportunities to apply that knowledge in the field. Through a broad array of externships and clinics, students can work for judges, federal, state and local government officials, and in defense advocacy, gaining invaluable hands-on experience and making useful connections for the future.

For example, as part of the popular Criminal Practice Clinic, students may find themselves working in a DA’s or PD’s office for a semester and conducting their own evidentiary hearings in court. Among the options for students passionate about applying the law to achieve social reform, the Civil Justice Clinic’s “clean slate program,” advocates on behalf of individuals who face difficulties getting a job or obtaining federal benefits because of past convictions that have yet to be expunged.

The Criminal Law faculty at UC Hastings is a dedicated, dynamic group whose interests and specialties are broad reaching. They include correctional system reform leaders like Professor Hadar Aviram, co-chair of the UC Hastings Institute for Criminal Justice and writer for the influential California Correctional Crisis blog. For those looking to learn more about federal criminal law and ethics in justice, students can study with Professor Rory Little, a leading authority in the field who was a former Associate Deputy Attorney General in Washington D.C. under Attorney General Janet Reno.

Students in this concentration often join the UC Hastings Criminal Law Society, creating a strong peer group that they can turn to in work and life after graduating. Our Criminal Law students can also tap into a large network of nearby alumni who hold key positions within the local, state, and federal justice system. These connections can provide future alums with the support and mentorship essential to affect change right from the start.

Qualifying Courses

Twenty-two total units are required.

The list of courses within the categories below is up to date as of the publication of this posting.  New courses are sometimes added to the curriculum subsequent to publication. Therefore, if a student finds a course in the curriculum not listed above, but which the student thinks might count toward concentration requirements, the student should check with the concentration advisor regarding the eligibility of the course to satisfy concentration requirements.