William Mitchell’s criminal law program integrates legal theory and practical skills to fully prepare you for a career in criminal law. Students with a focus in criminal law usually work as public defenders, private defense attorneys, or prosecutors; more Mitchell graduates are public defenders and prosecutors than any other Minnesota law school. Later in their careers, many criminal law practitioners become judges, both on the trial bench and at the appellate level.
The criminal law program offers a wide array of courses that cover the fundamental principles of criminal law and criminal procedure, as well as advanced courses that cover criminal law and procedure from state, federal, and international perspectives. The courses are taught by professors with real world experience in criminal law; our professors have litigated at the trial court level and argued at the United States Supreme Court. In addition to a thorough theoretical background, our trial advocacy program provides students with the opportunity to develop their trial skills, from opening statements to closing arguments. Finally, our clinic program allows students to represent clients in pending criminal cases through the Misdemeanor Clinic and Criminal Appeals Clinic, or to represent inmates with civil legal issues through the Legal Assistance to Minnesota Prisoners (LAMP) Clinic and the Reentry Clinic.
The Legal Practice Center is the heart of William Mitchell’s practical legal education, with nationally ranked skills courses, clinical programs, and real-world learning opportunities. It’s where students work with professors to put the theories they’ve learned in the classroom to work for real clients who might not otherwise have access to legal representation.