Duquesne University School of Law

Criminal Law

Duquesne Law's Criminal Justice Program offers cutting-edge legal coursework for students, innovative programs for lawyers and criminal justice professionals, and timely commentary on criminal justice topics for media sources.

Associate Dean Wes Oliver directs the Criminal Justice Program and, along with Professor John Rago, advises students who choose the Criminal Law Concentration. In addition to selecting courses in criminal law and procedure, students can take advantage of major events such as Plea Bargaining After Lafler and Frye, a national conference discussing U.S. Supreme Court decisions on plea bargaining.

Students can also participate in professional collaborations, such as one developed for the Fact Investigations class in partnership with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In select semesters, student in the class and PG reporters work together on projects such as one that researched more than 100 mortgage fraud prosecutions in Western Pennsylvania. Projects are considered for PG investigative stories and regular series. 

In certain years students in the Criminal Justice Program can also participate in DuqCrim, a student-run blog that tracks criminal law stories and offers timely legal commentary. 

Clinical opportunities include serving in the School of Law's Veterans Clinic, the first criminal law veteran’s clinic in the country.

Learn more about courses and programs featured in Duquesne's Criminal Justice Concentration.

Strongly Recommended Courses

Criminal Procedure: Bail to Jail [3 credits]
Criminal Process [3]
Sanctions, Sentencing, and Corrections [2]

Other Courses

Doctrinal Courses

Adjudication: The Judicial Process [2] 
Advocacy and Adjudication [2]
Appellate Moot Court [1] 
Appellate Practice and Procedure [2] 
Expert Evidence [3] 
Federal Criminal Law [3] 
Independent Research [1 to 3, paper - with approval] 
International Criminal Law [3] 
Law and Neuroscience [2] 
Law and Psychology [2] 
Post-Conviction Remedies in Criminal Prosecutions [2] 
Practice Before the Minor Judiciary [2, paper] 
Trial Advocacy [5] 
Wrongful Convictions [2]

Skills Courses

Advanced Legal Writing: Drafting [2 starting Spring 2016, paper - with approval; 3 before Spring 2016] 
Criminal Law Research [1, not offered since 2012-2013]
DNA Project [3 limited credits, not offered since 2012-2013]
Fact Investigation [2]
Negotiation Skills [2] 
The Post-Conviction DNA Project: Case Management [2, not offered since 2012-2013]
The Post-Conviction DNA Project: Conviction Integrity [2, not offered since 2012-2013]

Clinical Courses

Office of Conflict Counsel Criminal Defense Program [3 limited credits, clinical; was titled Criminal Defense Specialized Externship Program before 2014-2015]
Criminal Prosecution Externship Program [3 limited credits, clinical; was titled Criminal Prosecution Externship Program before 2014-2015] 
Education Law Clinic [3 limited credits, clinical]
Federal Litigation Clinic [3 limited credits, clinical; was titled Federal Practice Clinic before 2014-2015] 
General Externship Placement and Seminar [3 - with approval, limited credits, clinical] 
Juvenile Defender Clinic [3 limited credits, clinical]
Pennsylvania Innocence Project [3 limited credits, clinical]
Public Defender Adult Program [3 limited credits, clinical]
Public Defender Juvenile Program [3 lmited credits, clinical]
Veterans Clinic [3 limited credits, clinical]

Few courses in this concentration require or permit writing a paper, so a student seeking to meet the Criminal Law Concentration requirements must meet the overall paper requirement in some other approved manner.

Learn More

View additional concentrations offered at the School of Law.