Criminal Practice

In the practice of criminal law, you would be involved in either prosecuting criminal cases or representing criminal defendants. Even if you do not specialize in criminal law but instead pursue general practice, you might represent some clients in criminal cases. Basic substantive criminal law and an introduction to some aspects of criminal procedure are included in the first year curriculum. The upper level courses listed below will develop your understanding of the more complex issues of substance and procedure that arise in criminal cases. In addition, because the practice of criminal law involves both trial and appellate practice, you should take the designated courses designed to develop and hone those skills.  An externship will give you a chance to apply those skills while still in law school.

General Courses

  • Advanced Appellate Advocacy
  • Advanced Problems in Federal Criminal Litigation
  • Computer Apps in Litigation
  • Corporate & White Collar Crime
  • Criminal Procedure: Investigation
  • Criminal Procedure: Adjudication
  • Criminal Prosecution in the 21st Century
  • Corporate & White Collar Crime
  • Death Penalty Theory & Practice
  • Evidence
  • Human Trafficking
  • Immigration Law
  • Inside-Out
  • International Criminal Law
  • Interviewing & Counseling
  • Law & Psychology
  • Law, Science and Advocacy
  • Police Conduct Seminar
  • Trial Advocacy
    • Intensive Trial Advocacy
    • Trial Practice Competition
    • Advanced Trial Advocacy (Criminal)
  • Sentencing and Punishment
  • Villanova Capital Defense Practicum
  • Villanova Sentencing Workshop

Practical Writing Courses

  • Legal Writing 3 (LW3): Litigation
    •  2nd Year students only. Students must complete this course or LW3: Transactional before taking a Practical Writing course
  • Crime & Emerging Technology
  • International Human Rights
  • National Security Law

Externships and Practicums

  • Attorney General of Delaware
  • District Attorneys’ Offices (Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties)
  • Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania
  • Montgomery County Juvenile Court
  • Pennsylvania Attorney General--Insurance Fraud Dept.
  • Pennsylvania Innocence Project
  • Public Defender - Montgomery County
  • Public Defender’s Office Practicum - Philadelphia
  • Public Defender’s Office – Capital Habeas Unit Practicum
  • Office of Homeland Security
  • United States Attorney’s Office