Criminal Law

More than at any other time in recent memory, lawmakers, the media, and the public are focused on the fairness and effectiveness of our criminal justice system. With more than two million people incarcerated in our prisons and jails, and millions more under community supervision, questions increasingly arise about policing practices, the discretion held by prosecutors and judges, and the length of sentences meted out for particular offenses. Understanding our criminal justice system is critical for any aspiring lawyer, and especially for those contemplating careers in prosecution, criminal defense, or criminal justice policy. Stanford Law School offers unparalleled opportunities to take classes with and to work alongside internationally recognized experts in policing, sentencing, corrections, prisoner reentry, jury decision making, plea bargaining, drug policy, and virtually every other area of controversy in criminal justice. Full-time clinics allow students to gain hands-on experience prosecuting and defending criminal cases. Policy labs involve students in cutting-edge research with the potential to redirect public debate and change practices on the ground. Pro bono opportunities — like Project ReMADE and Street Law — and our Three Strikes Project allow our students to work with renowned practitioners to make the criminal justice system more humane, one client at a time. No law school anywhere better equips its students to work within or to help reform criminal justice, in the United States and around the world.

Clinics

Practical Training

Because Stanford views the law as a practical force, the clinics make a special effort to offer students learning opportunities that take them out of the classroom and into the courtroom.

Courses