Criminal Law & Practice

Southwestern offers a comprehensive program of courses, clinics and externship opportunities for students interested in the area of criminal law. The law school's mid-city location provides easy access to nearby government agencies and the courts. Among the many prominent Southwestern alumni who have served as judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys. Some examples are:

  • Two alumni recently served as Presiding Judges in Southern California (Los Angeles and Ventura Counties)
  • 80 Southwestern graduates currently serving as sitting judges in Southern California
  • 223 graduates currently serving as Deputy District Attorneys in Los Angeles County
  • 141 alumni currently serving as Public Defenders in Los Angeles County

In recent years, Southwestern graduates were honored as:

  • LA County Bar Association Defense Lawyer of the Year
  • LA County Bar Association Prosecutor of the Year
  • California Lawyer Criminal Attorney of the Year
  • California State Bar Public Lawyer of the Year

“In challenging economic times, the government tries to use criminal law to address broader social and economic problems. Sometimes it does this by attacking activity that may not appear to merit criminal punishment. It is these ‘gray areas’ between criminal law and civil law that I particularly enjoy exploring with my students.”

~ Professor J. Kelly Strader

To see a list of Criminal Law courses taught in the last three years, choose Criminal Law & Practice from the Filter by Area of Law drop-down list on the courses page.

  • Externship placements: California Court of Appeal; California Superior Court; Federal Public Defender; Inner City Law Center; Los Angeles County District Attorney; U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Youth Offender Parole Hearing Clinic
  • Trial Advocacy Honors Program
  • Student Organizations and Activities: Criminal Law Society, Teen Court