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Criminal Justice Certificate

An effective criminal justice system is a fundamental component of a just and prosperous civilization. Our nation has an elaborate system of laws and procedures designed to protect the accused, punish offenders, and preserve the peace. Not surprisingly, a large number of UF College of Law graduates go on to careers in criminal law in both the public and private sectors. One of the primary goals of our Criminal Justice Center is to enhance the law school experience of these students by providing them with academic advising, mentorship, area-specific education, and detailed criminal-practice training. In particular, the Center’s Criminal Justice Certificate Program provides students who are interested in criminal law — either as an area of academic study or as one of future practice, or both — with a unique opportunity to obtain and demonstrate special competency in the field. The program offers a rich and coordinated curriculum, clinical programs, independent studies, summer externships, networking opportunities, and the chance to participate in the Criminal Law Association.

Certificate students must complete a minimum of 30 credits devoted to criminal law, procedure, justice and related courses. In addition, students must achieve an overall 3.25 average in the courses that are counted toward the certificate. A student who takes more than 30 credits from within the curriculum will satisfy this requirement if he or she maintains a 3.25 average for 30 of these credits. A qualifying student must achieve no less than a “B-” in any course that is counted toward the certificate.

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Concentration Requirements

Students must complete all of the following four fundamental courses:

  • Criminal Law (3 credits) (first year)
  • Criminal Procedure Police Practices (3 credits)
  • Criminal Procedure Adversary Systems (3 credits)
  • Evidence (4 credits)

Required Clinic, Skills, and Externship Courses

Students must successfully complete the following courses:

  • Trial Practice (4 cr.) or Trial Advocacy (3 cr.)
  • Interviewing Counseling (3 cr.) or Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiation (3 cr.)

Students must successfully complete one Criminal Clinic or Externship:

  • Criminal Clinic (Prosecution or Defense) (6 or 9 cr.)
  • United States Attorney’s Office Externship (5 or 6 cr.)
  • Federal Public Defender Externship ((5 or 6 cr.)
  • Criminal Law Externships (Prosecution or Defense) (5 or 6 cr.)

Electives

In addition to the courses listed above, any of the following electives may be used to complete the required 30 credits.

  • Criminal Litigation
  • Death Penalty Law
  • Federal Criminal Law
  • Financial Crimes Seminar
  • Florida Criminal Procedure
  • Forensic Evidence
  • International Criminal Law
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Law & Psychiatry
  • Mental Health Law/Litigation/Seminar
  • Prosecutorial Ethics
  • Race, Crime, and the Law
  • Race, Law, and Justice Seminar
  • Sentencing Seminar
  • Trial Team (criminal problem)
  • Virtual Crime
  • White Collar Crime
  • Women Defendants in the Criminal Justice System
  • Women Defendants in Criminal Justice Seminar
  • Other courses approved by the Director

Certificate Writing Requirement

The student must satisfy a certificate writing requirement. This can be accomplished through enrollment in a seminar listed in the certificate curriculum, provided: (1) the student’s seminar paper is on a topic in criminal law, procedure, practice, or ethics; (2) the topic is approved in advance by the Director; and (3) student earns a B or better in the seminar. A paper that satisfies the J.D. senior writing requirement may also satisfy the certificate writing requirement if it meets the criteria listed above.

For more information contact:
Room 100 Bruton-Geer Hall,
PO Box 117626
Gainesville, Florida 32611-7626
Phone: (352) 273-0802  Fax: (352) 846-1027

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