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Putting Theory Into Practice

Whether students' interests lie in prosecution or defense work, or in developing criminal justice policy, BLS's criminal law program provides many opportunities to explore these avenues and more. Our program addresses every aspect of criminal law with a combination of rigorous doctrinal study and experiential grounding.

No school is better situated for hands-on experience. We are steps from one of the nation’s largest and most active justice complexes, including the Federal courts, State Supreme and Family Courts; New York City’s Corporation Counsel; the Police, Corrections, and Juvenile Justice departments; and the Brooklyn’s District Attorney’s Office, Victim Services Agency, and Legal Aid Society. With Manhattan’s sprawling criminal justice system just a short subway ride away, the Law School provides incomparable opportunities for externships and clinical learning. For students interested in pursuing criminal law as a career, our Certificate in Criminal Law provides an intense introduction to the profession.

Our exceptional criminal law faculty includes Professor Susan Herman, a noted criminal procedure expert who is President of the American Civil Liberties Union, the former head of the top New York City defense office, New York State Supreme Court judges, the Brooklyn District Attorney, and many other leading practitioners. As educators and mentors, our faculty bring their insight to the classroom and are dedicated to teaching the nuances of practice, direct from the field.

Our faculty’s scholarly works are influential in the field, and our professors involve students in their research. The diverse range of  topics they are addressing include: Professor Michael Cahill’s work on sentencing reform; Professor Miriam Baer’s work on corporate compliance and white collar crime; and Professor Lawrence Solan’s work on how language issues affect the criminal justice system.

Frequent interaction with our vast alumni network, including some of the country’s foremost trial attorneys, offers students direct exposure to criminal law practice.