Once an area of practice disdained by many, the criminal law has undergone a distinct change in its priority of attention. Increasingly, judges in positions of leadership-most recently Chief Justice Burger-have called attention to the importance of the criminal process and the dire need for improvement. These changes have been reflected in the curricular position of criminal law at the Stanford Law School.

Thirty years ago there was one criminal law course in the curriculum of the school. At that time the course emphasized traditional definitions of crimes and analysis of common law judicial opinions. Ten years later, in 1949-50, the course description for criminal law revealed the beginnings of a probing into the background of a crime and the problems of law enforcement.

A seminar for second and third-year students was offered in 1954-55 in which problems of procedure and administration were emphasized. Each student was expected to do intensive research on a specific topic in criminal law and present the results for group criticism and evaluation.

Three years later another criminal law seminar was introduced at the School. This one gave primary emphasis to the substantive issues suggested by the draft of the American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code. Since then new seminars and advanced courses in criminal law have been added steadily to the curriculum.

In 1964-65, following a full faculty study of the curriculum, criminal law was returned to the first-year study program. An excerpt from Professor Herbert L. Packer’s memo of January 22, 1965 about the basic criminal law course stated:

… I have thought it necessary, because of limitations of time, to make a choice between a substantive and a procedural-administrative approach to the subject and have opted for the former. My reason … is that the substantive problems – what conduct should be treated as criminal and what should be done with people who commit crimes – are anterior to the problems that arise in the operation of a system for apprehending, screening, and trying persons accused of crime. . . . It [the basic criminal law course] is in many ways the ideal introduction to the aspect of law that we loosely refer to as “public”, … also presents a clearcut example of a corner of the law largely dominated by legislation, … [and] has the further virtue of dealing with raw material that is familiar but dealing with it according to modes of thought with which the student is unfamiliar-a highly desirable combination for beginning the transition.

Practical aspects of training in criminal law are also offered to Stanford law students. Well over one hundred Legal Aid Society student members help local attorneys in the peninsula area to extend legal services to a broader base of the population and to supplement the classroom education of the students. Among the Society’s programs, there are five in criminal law connected with the San Mateo and Santa Clara district attorneys’ and public defenders’ offices. In addition the Law SchooI today offers a limited experimental operational training program which allows a small number of student to receive one semester’s credit toward their J.D. degree for approximately six months of faculty supervised work as externs outside the Law School. All externs return to the School for at least one term after their operational training experience. The three positions presently available in the field of administration of justice are with the Adult Probation Department of San Mateo County and the Juvenile Probation Departments of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. In each department the students go through the four to six-week orientation program given all new probation officers. They are then assigned to three successive operating departments performing the work of a probation officer. During the last two and a half months they continue to work part time supervising three or four cases and also serve as assistants to the director of the agency, attending county and state supervisor and inter-agency meetings. There are course prerequisites for each position and each extern works on a research project based on his experience to be submitted on his return to the School.

The Stanford Law School today has an unusually strong faculty complement in the field of criminal law.

Professor Anthony G. Amsterdam holds an A.B. in French literature from Haverford College and an LL.B. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was editor-in-chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. His note on the “Void-for-Vagueness Doctrine in the Supreme Court,” appearing in the 109 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 67 (1960) has often been cited in court cases. Following law school he served as law clerk to Mr. Justice Frankfurter for the 1960-61 term and in 1961-62 he was Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. Mr. Amsterdam was a member of the law faculty of the University of Pennsylvania from 1962 until 1969. He was on leave for the year 1968-69, which he spent as counsel to the N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. On behalf of the Legal Defense Fund Professor Amsterdam has been an active participant in a series of cases dealing with the death penalty.

Criminal Law at the Law School
Anthony G. Amsterdam

While teaching at Pennsylvania Mr. Amsterdam also devoted a substantial portion of his time to work as a consultant and litigating attorney for the Legal Defense Fund, as well as for the Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee, American Civil Liberties Union, and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He has been a member of numerous committees and commissions dealing with the criminal process. Mr. Amsterdam’s publications include: Trial Manual for the Defense of Criminal Cases (2 vols., 1967, with Bernard Segal and M. Miller), and The Defensive Transfer of Civil Rights Litigation from State to Federal Courts (2 vols., 1964).

Professor Amsterdam’s principal interest is criminal procedure; much of his court work has been in this field. Professor Amsterdam is currently involved in a number of cases before the Supreme Court. He is a proponent of clinical training as a supplement to cIassroom study to provide students with practical experience in the working context of the law, the actual operation of court calendars and the trial of cases. In his view, however, the ultimate value of such training to the student depends on the supervision and direct involvement invested by the responsible law faculty member.

Assistant Professor Paul Andrew Brest received an A.B. in English literature in 1962 from Swarthmore College and an LL.B. in 1965 from Harvard, where he was supreme court and developments note editor of the Harvard Law Review. He served as law clerk to Judge Bailey Aldrich, United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in 1965-66 and as law clerk to Mr. Justice Harlan of the United States Supreme Court in 1968-69. With his attorney wife, Iris, Professor Brest was with the N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., in Mississippi from 1966 to 1968. He joined the Stanford law faculty in the fall of 1969.

Professor Brest has a long term interest in empirical research work and in the basic problems raised by the criminal sanction: Does criminal sanction work as a deterrent? For what crimes? Under what conditions? His views on clinical training correspond to those of Professor Amsterdam.

Criminal Law at the Law School 1
Paul A. Brest

Professor John Kaplan received an A.B. in physics in 1951 and an LL.B. in 1954 from Harvard University, where he was on the Law Review. He was a law clerk to Justice Tom Clark of the Supreme Court during 1954-55 and then went to the University of Vienna for a year’s study in criminology. In 1957 he as a Special Attorney for the United States Department of Justice. Between 1958 and 1961 he served as Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of California concentrating primarily on civil and criminal fraud work. He spent 1961 at the Hudson Institute as a research analyst in the problems of nuclear warfare and civil defense. Before coming to Stanford he was an Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern University from 1962 until 1965 and Visiting Associate Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley in 1964-65. Professor Kaplan is the author of The Trial of Jack Ruby with Jon R. Waltz (1965), Cases and Materials on Evidence with David W. Louisell and Jon R. Waltz (1968) and numerous book reviews and articles including a series on “Segregation, Litigation and the Schools” in the Northwestern Law Review and “The Assassins” in the spring 1967 issue of The American Scholar.

With the help of special funding from the Ford Foundation Mr. Kaplan is on research leave during 1969-70, continuing his studies of legal policy toward marijuana at the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence in London. His findings will be published this spring in a book entitle The New Prohibition.

Professor Herbert Packer joined the Stanford Law School faculty in 1956. Born in New Jersey in 1925, Professor Packer received a B.A. in government and international relations (1944) and an LL.B. (1949) from Yale University, where he was article editor of the Yale Law Journal. After serving in 1949-50 as law clerk to Judge Thomas W. Swan, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, he practiced law in Washington, D.C. until 1955. In 1951 he was also a consultant to the United States Wage Stabilization Board.

Criminal Law at the Law School 2
Herbert L. Packer

He has been a member of the Attorney General’s Committee on Poverty and the Administration of Federal Criminal Justice whose report led to passage of the Criminal Justice Act of 1964 and the Bail Reform Act of 1966. Professor Packer has also been a reporter on the revision of the California Penal Code, a member of the Visiting Committee of the Yale Law School, Chairman of the Triennial Award Committee of the Order of the Coif and consultant to the California Law Revision Commission.

In January of 1967 he became Vice-Provost for Academic Planning at Stanford University. For the next two years he directed the Study of Education at Stanford (SES), a deep review of all elements in the University which directly influence the educational process. The study resulted in a ten-volume report, many recommendations of which have been put into effect. For his work on SES Professor Packer received the University’s highest faculty honor, the Dinkelspiel Award, given at the 1969 Commencement for distinguished service to undergraduate education at Stanford. Professor Packer returned to teach full time in the Law School in the fall of 1969. He is presently conducting a study, “New Directions in Legal Education,” for the Carnegie Commission on the Future of Higher Education.

Professor Packer has written extensively for legal and general periodicals. In 1969 he published The Limits of the Criminal Sanction,  in which he argues the need to narrow the use of the criminal sanction and concentrate limited law enforcement resources in such areas as violence and organized crime. Building on his writing, Professor Packer is now working along two main lines: (1) empirical studies of the costs of various uses of the criminal sanction and (2) historical studies of how the criminal process in American law came to be so diffuse and widespread.

Assistant Professor Michael Wald took an A.B. in political science from Cornell (1963), and an LL.B. (1967) and an M.A. in political science (1967) from Yale University, where he was projects editor of the Yale Law Journal. Before joining Stanford Law School’s faculty in 1967 he worked with law firms in Los Angeles and in San Francisco.

Professor Wald has taught Family Law and Property. During the current year he is also teaching Criminal Law, Advanced: Juveniles and the Law. The latter course places primary focus on the problems of juvenile delinquency, exploring theories on its causes, the structure of the legal system dealing with the juvenile delinquent, and the problems, operational and ethical, of the attorney representing a juvenile client.

Mr. Wald’s interests lie mainly in empirical research in criminal law, especially in the correctional process. During his third year at Yale Law School, he spent three months in close contact with the New Haven Police Department studying arrest and arraignment procedures in operation. This study produced his article “The Impact of Miranda on Interrogation in New Haven” 76 Yale Law Journal 1519 (1967). In future criminal law endeavors at the School Professor Wald would like to have students involved in probation and other forms of empirical research, working with people from other disciplines, Professor Wald will be on leave of absence for at least the next year to gain sequential practical experience working in a prosecutor’s office, in a government OEO legal services office and in the office of a private practice defense attorney.

In April, 1967, Professors Kaplan and Packer received a five-year grant from the Ford Foundation for advanced research in key areas of criminal law and policy. The grant has made it possible for each to bring to fruition in publishable form his prior experience and work. At the same time a portion of the funding is being devoted to research projects by a small number of post-J.D. students. Subjects being investigated under this grant include complaints of false arrest and police misconduct; enforcement of aggravated assault laws within minority communities; the effect upon police practices of California’s discovery laws; the necessity for confession in criminal cases; narcotics control, and the effects of imprisonment on the “respectable” offender. Professor Sanford Kadish of the University of California at Berkeley law faculty has a similar research grant, and the multi-disciplinary resources of the Berkeley and Stanford law schools are being combined to examine the whole range of the criminal process – the multiple factors that govern the use of institutions and process for the control of deviant behavior in a free society.