Areas of Focus

Criminal Justice

Students prepare for impactful careers in criminal justice through a rigorous curriculum that blends substantive coursework with practical experiences in the field.

At UCLA Law, training in criminal justice extends well beyond a rigorous curriculum that is taught by top scholars and encompasses the procedural, doctrinal and theoretical roots of criminal law and the U.S. criminal justice system.

Experiential opportunities include courses in trial advocacy, where students hone their skills in fact analysis, client counseling and motion drafting, and the Criminal Defense Clinic, which collaborates with pro bono attorneys, nonprofit groups and public defender offices to make a positive difference in the community. Externships with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and other high-profile organizations offer invaluable work experience and an uncommon view into the role of lawyers in and around criminal courthouses.

Students also engage with UCLA Law's impactful centers of scholarship and advocacy. The Criminal Justice Program regularly partners with the Bail Project to effect meaningful change in communities burdened by unaffordable bail. And the Prison Law and Policy Program and Transnational Program on Criminal Justice host symposia and other events featuring luminaries in the field.

Centers of Excellence
Centers of Excellence

Criminal Justice Program

This program is designed to help students build a foundation in criminal law while gaining meaningful experience.

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Centers of Excellence

Native Nations Law & Policy Center

This center advances Indian nations’ laws and institutions while promoting cultural resource protections.

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Centers of Excellence

Transnational Program on Criminal Justice

Performing scholarship on international and transnational criminal justice systems.

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