Law 503 - Current Topics in Criminal Law

Beth A. Colgan

Beth A. Colgan

Professor of Law
B.A. Stanford University, 1995
J.D. Northwestern University School of Law, 2000

UCLA Faculty Since 2014
Course Description:

This course will investigate the legal and policy implications of current topics in criminal law and procedure. Past topics have included civil asset forfeiture, opioid abuse, marijuana legalization, mens rea reform, juvenile justice reform, and penal disenfranchisement. Students will learn to identify and understand the complexities of these issues—including the federal-state relationship in criminal policy, the real world impact of current and proposed practices, the importance of economic incentives to criminal justice reform, and the way in which these issues cause divisions between political allies—as well as to address the role that lawyers and other advocates play in shaping these laws and policies.

Background in or familiarity with criminal procedure is recommended, but not a prerequisite.

Course Learning Outcomes:

This course will allow you to engage in pressing topics in criminal law and policy in 2019. Students will learn to identify and understand the complexities of these issues, including the federal-state relationship in criminal policy, the real-world impact of current and proposed practices, the importance of economic incentives to criminal justice reforms, and the way in which these issues cause divisions between political allies. Students will also gain experience in the type of persuasive writing lawyers use to advocate for change outside of the litigation context.

Course Information:
​Faculty Term Course Section ​Schedule ​Units Requisite Satisfies SAW
Beth Colgan 20S 503 SEM 1 T 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM 3.0 No No