Through the Criminal Law Practicum, students develop a broader understanding of the criminal justice landscape. In addition to learning about practical and substantive issues, you will be exposed to current and historical policies that have shaped our criminal justice systems, hear from practitioners across a spectrum of career options, and garner a better understanding for what it means to practice criminal law.

In addition to the required weekly classroom seminar, you must complete a field placement OR a research project. There is no final exam requirement.

Field Placement

If you are interested in the field placement option, you must secure an unpaid internship with an approved agency under the supervision of practicing attorneys. Past field placements have included:

  • Cook County State‚Äôs Attorneys Office
  • Law Office of the Public Defender Cook County
  • Office of the State Appellate Defender
  • Cabrini Green Legal Aid
  • Civilian Office of Police Accountability
  • First Defense Legal Aid
  • The Cochran Law Firm 

You can search for approved field placements in Externship and Practica Opportunities.

To earn live client experience (LCE) credit, you must choose the field placement component and register for section 1 AND section 2 (for up to three credit hours):

Section 2 Hours Registered Average Weekly Hours Total Hours at Placement

One (1) credit requires 55 hours at your field placement site (approximately 5-8 hours/week at your field placement site)

Two (2) credit hours requires  110 hours at your field placement site over the course of the semester (approximately 8-12 hours/week at your field placement site)

Three (2) credit hours requires  165 hours at your field placement site over the course of the semester (approximately 12-15  hours/week at your field placement site)

Research Project

Students may choose to conduct research on an approved criminal law or policy matter selected during the semester, rather than completing a field placement. Students who pursue the research component will present their findings to the class at the end of the semester.

Questions You may contact Professor Cornelius Edwards for additional ideas for field placement options or if you have questions about the course requirements and benefits.