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Harvard Law students interested in criminal justice issues may draw on the resources of the Criminal Law and Policy Program of Study. The aim of the Program of Study is to bring together, and provide guidance to, students interested in criminal justice, whether from an advocacy, policy-making, or academic perspective (or some combination of perspectives). All students interested in this area, either in contemplation of an eventual career in criminal justice or as a subject of academic study, are encouraged to take a broad range of both lecture courses and seminars in criminal law and procedure as well as clinical offerings.

We particularly encourage students to seek to engage all perspectives on criminal justice and to learn about both the prosecution and defense functions in the justice process. Even if you already identify yourself as defense or prosecution oriented, law school is an opportunity to study and learn about all aspects of the criminal justice process. Regardless of where you end up, this broad study will make you a better lawyer.

Academic Offerings

For the latest academic year offerings in Criminal Law and Policy, please visit the HLS Course Catalog

  • Foundational Courses
    • Criminal Law (required first-year course)
    • Criminal Procedure: Investigations
    • Criminal Procedure: Adjudication
  • Advanced courses, seminars, and reading groups
    • Access to Justice and Legal Practice in Rural America
    • Capital Punishment in America
    • Comparative Criminal Law: Fair Trials
    • Contesting the Carceral State
    • Corporate Criminal Investigations
    • Corruption and Anticorruption: Selected Topics
    • Criminal Justice Appellate Clinical Seminar
    • Criminal Justice Institute: Defense Theory and Practice
    • Criminal Law and Torts — Intersections, Distinctions, and Consequences
    • Criminal Municipal Courts: A Policy and Advocacy Simulation
    • Crimmigration: The Intersection of Criminal Law and Immigration Law
    • Cyber Criminal Law and Procedure
    • Empirical Criminal Law
    • Evaluating Criminal Justice Reform
    • Institute to End Mass Incarceration Clinical Seminar
    • International Criminal Law
    • Mass Incarceration and Sentencing Law
    • Mind and Criminal Responsibility in the Anglo-American Tradition
    • Policing in America: The Good, the Bad and The Ugly
    • Prosecution Clinical Seminar
    • Repairing Wrongs: Crimes and Torts
    • Restorative and Transformative Justice
    • Restorative Justice
    • Seeing Criminal (In)Justice: Examining the Interplay of Visual Media, Storytelling and Criminal Law
  • Related advanced offerings
    • Art of Social Change
    • Be Careful What You Wish For
    • Evidence
    • Facts and Lies
    • Federal Courts Clinical Seminar
    • Fair Trial
    • From Nuremberg to The Hague– Law, The Individual and the Group
    • Gender Violence Legal Policy Workshop
    • Judicial Process in Trial Courts Clinical Seminar
    • International Counterterrorism Law
    • Law and Neuroscience
    • Law, Justice, and Design: Making Legal Systems for Human Beings
    • Litigating in the Family Courts: Domestic Violence and Family Law Clinical Seminar
    • Military Law and Justice
    • Nuremberg — Law, The Individual and the Group
    • Reproductive Rights and Justice
    • The Role of the State Attorney General
    • The Rule and The Exception
    • Trial Advocacy Workshop

Journals and Publications

  • Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
  • Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy
  • Harvard Journal on Legislation
  • Harvard Law and Policy Review
  • Harvard National Security Journal

See all HLS Student Journals and Publications

Lecture Series

Research and Learning Outside the Classroom

Research Centers and Programs

Student Practice Organizations