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

In addition to the required weekly classroom seminar, you must also complete a Field Placement OR Research Project. There are biweekly reflection assignments and a Final Overview Reflection/Exam.

The Criminal Law Practicum is offered during Fall/Spring semesters to students who have completed their first year of law school. To discuss options for eligible field placements, potential research project topics, or questions about the course requirements and benefits, please reach out to Professor Breanna Kantor.

Field Placement

If you are interested in completing the course with a field placement, you must secure an unpaid internship/externship with an approved agency under the supervision of practicing attorneys. Students must secure these positions on their own, using each agency’s own hiring procedures for law students.

Past field placements have included government prosecution, defense, or disciplinary offices as well as various legal aid agencies and criminal law firms:

  • Cook County State’s Attorneys Office
  • Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender
  • Office of the State Appellate Defender
  • United States Attorney's Office
  • Federal Defender Program for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Cabrini Green Legal Aid
  • Civilian Office of Police Accountability
  • Lawndale Christian Legal Center
  • Illinois Prison Project
  • First Defense Legal Aid
  • James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy
  • The Cochran Firm Chicago

Students may search for approved field placements in Externship and Practica opportunities or seek approval for qualifying new host sites.

Students seeking Live Client Experience (LCE) credit must complete a field placement. Field placement students must register for Section 001 (1 SKILLS credit) AND Section 002 (for 1-3 LCE credits, depending on amount of field hours):

One (1) credit requires the completion of 55 field hours (approximately 5-8 hours/week)

Two (2) credit hours requires the completion of 110 field hours (approximately 8-12 hours/week)

Three (3) credit hours requires the completion of 165 total field hours (approximately 12-15 hours/week)

Research Project

The Criminal Law Practicum course is piloting a new Research Project in partnership with Chicago community-based nonprofit organizations. A limited number of students will be approved to conduct research on an approved criminal law or policy matter relevant to their project partner, selected with Professor Kantor at the beginning of the semester. The Spring 2024 Criminal Law Practicum project partner is Saint Leonard's Ministries. Students who pursue the research component will present on their topics at the end of the course. Research Project students must register in Section 001 for THREE credit hours and will not receive LCE credit (SKILLS only).

Permission to Enroll

You must contact Professor Breanna Kantor (bkantor@luc.edu) for permission to enroll in the course.