Prosecutor-focused courses in law schools are an excellent way for prosecutors to expose law students to their work and to have students available to do research on prosecution issues. Statewide Best Practices Committees have benefited from working with their local law schools to develop classes that can focus on emerging issues and policy questions.
Here are a few partnerships between law schools and prosecutors:
Virginia: The Prosecution Project – The Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Committee on Justice and Professionalism (Virginia’s Best Practices Committee) teamed with the University of Richmond law school to create a class to introduce students to the many roles of prosecutors, the ethical issues they face and the challenges inherent in keeping up with today’s emerging issues. The class is taught by County Attorneys who are members of the committee. The students also do research on topics chosen by the Committee and present their findings to the Committee at the end of the semester. Read syllabus. The course was described in the Virginia Lawyer. Read
Washington D.C.: Best Practices for Justice; Prosecutors Working to Improve the Criminal Justice System – The Executive Director of Prosecutors’ Center for Excellence (PCE) and an AUSA from the DC US Attorney’s Office teach this practicum at Georgetown Law School. It focuses on policy issues facing prosecutors from identification procedures to enhancing community trust. The students each do 10 hours of research a week for PCE, assisting with white papers on subjects including witness intimidation, digital communication and grand jury practices around the country. The class ends with the students giving a “TED Talk”-inspired presentation on topical criminal justice issue. Read syllabus
Colorado: Criminal Prosecution Seminar – This seminar at Denver University’s Sturm College of Law, taught by a member of the Colorado Best Practices Committee, addresses topical criminal justice issues of the day, such as plea bargaining, cold case investigations and prosecutorial ethics. The students write a paper on how to improve the criminal justice system and participate in mock oral arguments. Read syllabus