Building Upon a Strong Foundation of Criminal Law Programs

Criminal Justice Clinic

As part of the law school’s nationally recognized Clinical Program, the Criminal Justice Clinic is designed with the twin goals of teaching student attorneys about the theory and practice of advocacy in the criminal and juvenile justice systems and teaching them how these skills translate to other practice settings. Some students practice as defense attorneys representing indigent clients under the supervision of clinic faculty while others work under the supervision of prosecutors in local prosecutors’ offices. The clinic is co-directed by Professors Jenny Roberts and Binny Miller.

Criminal Law Society

The Criminal Law Society is committed to exploring the traditional aspects of the legal community, as well as the ever-evolving nature of the criminal justice system in the United States.  The Society organizes programs throughout the year to discuss/debate pressing criminal justice issues, including mandatory minimum sentencing, drug law disparities, immigration and human trafficking.  Other events include a career panel with lawyers involved in both defense and prosecution, and visits to the Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in criminal law cases.

Criminal Law Practitioner

The Criminal Law Pracitioner, formerly the Criminal Law Brief, is dedicated to providing practice-oriented articles on highly litigated and prevelant topics in criminal justce. The publication identifies key issues and recent developments in criminal law and also provides guidance on how to address these issues in practice. The Practitioner, published biannually, strives to promote the scholarship of criminal law practitioners and current Washington College of Students pursuing a career in the field.

Stephen S. Weinstein Trial Advocacy Program

The law school’s Trial Advocacy Program continues to expand its extensive course offerings – nearly 400 students enroll each year in one or more of 35 small sections of 11 trial advocacy courses. The law school also recently added an LL.M. in Advocacy that aids graduates in preparation for all aspects of litigation. The Trial Advocacy Program is directed by Professor David Aaronson.

Project on Preventing Prison Rape

Directed by Professor Brenda Smith, the Project is a leader in addressing the implications and implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 and its national standards. Since 2000, the Project on Addressing Prison Rape has provided training, technical assistance, and legal guidance for correctional agencies, advocates, and survivors who want to effectively prevent, respond, and eliminate sexual abuse in custodial settings.

Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project

The Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project (MAIP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to correcting and preventing the conviction of innocent people in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. MAIP staff work with a dedicated Board of Directors and scores of pro bono lawyers and law students to screen and investigate cases and provide pro bono investigative and legal help in the most compelling cases, working to ensure that innocent prisoners obtain their freedom.

Externship Program

Each year, AUWCL students complete high profile externship field placements in a wide variety of criminal law agencies and organizations. In addition to the federal, state and local prosecutor and public defender offices in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, students take full advantage of the many government agencies and non-profit organizations to get a wealth of criminal law experience.

  • Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
  • Council for Children’s Rights
  • Families Against Mandatory Minimums
  • The Innocence Project
  • National Association of Police Organizations
  • National Center for Victims of Crime
  • National District Attorneys Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Northern Virginia Capital Defender Office
  • U.S. Department of Defense
  • Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps
  • United States Department of Justice Criminal Division