SMNR: Federal Criminal Law

Class Unique: 29020

This seminar will be taught by a former United States Attorney and sitting federal district judge, and will provide the opportunity to explore a variety of topics related to federal criminal law, of both perennial and current relevance.  We will examine substantive and recurring issues related to the controlled substances act, public corruption, wire and mail fraud, firearms offenses, immigration crimes and conspiracy.  In addition, we will discuss more pragmatic aspects of federal criminal practice such as grand juries, prosecutorial discretion, plea bargaining and sentencing. This seminar should be of potential interest both to students who have specific career goals in criminal law or federal judicial clerkships, as well as those who have a more general interest in this this dynamic and important area of the law.

Students will be expected to (a) participate actively in discussion of the topic of the day, (b) identify and engage in research on a topic of current relevance related to federal criminal law, (c) submit a research paper in compliance with the seminar writing requirement, and (d) share the results on their research via an informal class discussion.  Research topics will be selected in consultation with the professor, who will assist in the development of an outline.  Active student engagement is expected during each class, where questions and contributions will be an important part of the experience. Due to the importance of student participation and the limited number of meetings, strict attendance is expected.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Thursday 4:15 - 6:05 pm JON 6.206
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room

Additional Information

Course Type
Grading Method
Pass/Fail Allowed


  • Federal Criminal Law and its Enforcement - Abrams, Beale and Klein
      West , edition: Sixth
      ISBN: 978-1-62810-010-5   (required)