Students interested in a career in criminal law may choose to become prosecutors or defense lawyers. Prosecutors may work for the federal government as Assistant U.S. Attorneys or in the Justice Department. They may also enforce state and local laws as assistant district attorneys or city prosecutors. Criminal defense lawyers may work on their own or for private firms, or in a public defenders’ office. Even big firm lawyers may defend those accused of white collar crimes, or advice on legal compliance. A few criminal law practitioners may even have the opportunity to prosecute or defend crimes on an international scale. All may also aspire to be judges in a court that handles criminal cases. For any of these jobs, a strong understanding of the substantive criminal law as well as constitutional criminal procedure is essential.

Foundation Courses – Introducing the Basics

  • Criminal Law
  • Constitutional Criminal Procedure: Investigation
  • Constitutional Criminal Procedure: Adjudication
  • (or: Constitutional Criminal Procedure Survey)
  • Texas Criminal Procedure (if practicing in Texas)
  • Trial Advocacy or Trial Techniques I
  • Evidence

Recommended Courses – Criminal Law Electives

  • Comparative Law II: Criminal Procedure
  • Criminal Tax Fraud
  • Death Penalty Project (GW)
  • International Criminal Law
  • Perspectives on Counter-Terrorism (EW)
  • Sentencing & the Death Penalty (EW)
  • White Collar Crime
  • Juvenile Justice


  • Criminal Justice Clinic
  • Child Advocacy Clinic

Related Courses

  • Critical Race Theory - Civil Rights Seminar
  • Immigration Law
  • Law & Science
  • Legislation
  • Negotiations
  • Trial Advocacy


  • Collin County District Attorney’s Office
  • Dallas County District Attorney’s Office (general and Family Violence Prosecution)
  • Dallas County Public Defender (general and Conviction Integrity Unit)
  • Rockwall County District Attorney’s Office
  • Federal Public Defender
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office (N.D. Tex.-Dallas)
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office (E.D. Tex – Plano)
  • International Law Externships

Many of the judicial externships also involve courts that hear criminal as well as civil cases.

There are also numerous Public Service placements involving criminal prosecution or defense.

Here are some members of the full-time faculty members who teach or have an interest in this area: