726 Intro to Substantive Criminal Law, Fall 2016

Categories: Criminal Law

Section 001, Intro to Substantive Criminal Law - Klingele, Cecelia

Course Page for Fall 2016 - Klingele, Cecelia

Problems in defining what conduct should be subject to criminal penalties; the limitations of criminal law as a means for prevention and control of undesirable conduct.

Learning Objectives

Unlike undergraduate education, where professors and teaching assistants often provide students with material, digest it with students in class, and ask for it to be repeated back on an exam, legal education requires a great deal more initiative on the part of students. In most cases, there are not “answers” to memorize, and often you will be left struggling to decide how the law does—and should—apply to a given situation. Developing professional judgment in the face of ambiguity in the law is a core competency required for the practice of law. Your ability to analyze critically, reason clearly, think creatively, and make thoughtful, independent judgments is what will make you a good law student—and ultimately, a good lawyer. While I (and the rest of the faculty) am here to support and guide you in the process of developing those skills, the work of learning is primarily your own. There will not be a great deal of hand-holding here: Do not expect all class readings to be discussed in lecture, and understand that the skills you are honing go beyond those that will (and can) be assessed on the final examination. Own your learning and professional development, and think of the educational enterprise broadly. Doing so will position you to succeed in the legal profession.
This course is designed to help you understand how to read and interpret statutes in the context of one primary area: the law governing criminal conduct. Recognizing that most people learn best when they apply ideas to real life situations, you will often be asked to view the course materials from the perspective of a practicing lawyer. The assignments are intended to help you develop a range of fundamental lawyering skills—such as oral and written communication, collaboration, analysis, and synthesis—that require you to do more than simply make arguments or memorize rules and cases.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

• Describe the basic legal standards that govern decision-making by prosecutors, judges, and juries in criminal cases.
• Identify the basic elements of a criminal statute.
• Apply statutes to new fact situations.
• Understand the primary Constitutional limits on the legislature’s ability to draft criminal statutes.
• Understand the ways in which criminal law has changed over time in response to changing public norms and institutional structures.
• Understand the operation of included offense statutes, and their effect on charging decisions and jury instructions.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Section 002, Intro to Substantive Criminal Law - Kempinen, Ben

Course Page for Fall 2016 - Kempinen, Ben

Problems in defining what conduct should be subject to criminal penalties; the limitations of criminal law as a means for prevention and control of undesirable conduct.

Learning Objectives for this Class

This is a class about criminal law. When we are finished, you will know a great deal about how criminal laws are created and applied. The lessons of this class are not limited to criminal law; the class is designed to help you develop skills necessary for effective practice in any substantive area. At the end of the term you each should understand:

• the allocation of authority between the three branches of government and between federal, state and local agencies
• how policies are transformed into law – statutes, administrative rules, or executive orders
• the difference between a criminal and a non-criminal offense
• how a statutory code is constructed and how its various parts fit (or sometimes, do not fit) together
• how to read and break down statutes to determine the elements of crimes and defenses
• how to read and understand the precise holding of an appellate court decision
• how to apply statutory definitions to specific fact situations

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Section 003, Intro to Substantive Criminal Law - Prosser, Mary

Course Page for Fall 2016 - Prosser, Mary

Problems in defining what conduct should be subject to criminal penalties; the limitations of criminal law as a means for prevention and control of undesirable conduct.

Learning outcomes

In this course students will:

1. learn the basic concepts of a criminal code;
2. learn how to read and understand a statute, even an unfamiliar one, and the cases interpreting it;
3. learn how to apply statutory definitions to new fact situations;
4. learn the basic roles of the actors in the criminal justice system (a more detailed approach to the system is taught in Criminal Justice Administration);
5. learn the legal and ethical standards that govern decision-making in criminal cases;
6. learn the benefits of collaborative efforts and how to work effectively with colleagues;
7. begin to learn the analysis and conventions expected in legal writing; and
8. begin to develop their skills in oral analysis and advocacy.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Section 004, Intro to Substantive Criminal Law - Wright, Steven

Course Page for Fall 2016 - Wright, Steven

Problems in defining what conduct should be subject to criminal penalties; the limitations of criminal law as a means for prevention and control of undesirable conduct.


LEARNING OBJECTIVES
• To develop knowledge and understanding of substantive criminal law
• To describe the fundamental architecture of a criminal offense
• To deconstruct criminal statutes into elements
• To analyze and synthesize criminal appellate cases
• To identify and weigh relevant facts
• To render thoughtful legal conclusions based upon applying facts to law