The First Year of Law School – Should I Study Criminal Law?

Matt Pinsker

October 24, 2022


You may have a general idea of what you want to do after you graduate from law school, but you may not know what specific areas you want to focus on. The good news is that law school is a great time to explore new interests and hone your skills. In addition, the first year of law school is a great place to discover the types of criminal law education you enjoy doing.

Requirements-Criminal Law

For those who want to pursue a career in criminal law, the educational requirements for the degree vary from state to state. To start, students must complete 24 credits in general education, and the rest of their coursework must be related to the field of study. These may include courses like Investigative Report Writing, Introduction to Psychology, Ethics, Legal Issues, and Intellectual Discovery Strategies. In addition, they must take one additional elective course. In total, they must complete 60 credits to graduate.

A program of study in criminal law will prepare students to participate in the essential work of protecting and ordering society. Prosecutors and law enforcement agents act on behalf of the community, while defense attorneys work to protect individual rights and the limits of government power. While these roles require strong analytical skills and the ability to work well under pressure, they also provide a rewarding career.

As part of your coursework, criminal law students will attend seminars and lectures, study for exams, participate in internships, and shadow working lawyers. They will also have some free time, which will help them explore their new city or country.


Criminal law students will learn about the judicial process and the rules of evidence as they apply to crimes. They will also learn about the history of the penal code and the rationale behind the standards that govern criminal law. Students will also learn about the United States Constitution, due process, and procedures that protect certain guaranteed rights. Lastly, they will learn about the various theories influencing crime and how to apply them to the legal system.

As a criminal attorney, you must be able to keep up with the latest developments in criminal law. As a prosecutor or defense attorney, knowing these changes in the legal system can make all the difference in your case. As such, CLE courses in criminal law can benefit any professional in the criminal justice system.

This course focuses on the development of the legal system, its structure, and the relationship between crime and social networks. Students will also learn about the causes and consequences of crime and how they affect society.

Career options-Criminal Law

There are a wide variety of career opportunities for people who study criminal law and justice. Students can pursue law enforcement careers, corrections, advocacy, and political positions. The field also offers private sector jobs such as security, cybercrime, and social work. Finally, for those who are interested in science, a career in criminal psychology is an excellent choice.

There are also many positions in the criminal justice system that require extensive knowledge of the legal system. They range from interacting with criminals directly to analyzing forensic evidence and collecting data. Once you have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, there are many opportunities to pursue. Numerous career paths are also available for those with psychology and public policy backgrounds. After all, it is essential to understand the psychology of human behavior if you are working in the criminal justice system.

While many opportunities are available for criminal law students, there is no single way to find the right career. Students should seek mentors and other opportunities in their area of interest. This can be done through networking at law school events and personal contacts. It is also important to consider joining a professional association, such as the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association. Membership in these organizations will benefit students and practicing lawyers, including networking and access to resources.


The cost of studying criminal law varies depending on where you live. Some programs are free, while others require a significant financial investment. For example, an associate degree in criminal justice at Oregon State University costs more than $23,000. Another program, the bachelor of science in criminal justice at Kaplan University, costs $63,000, which includes tuition and specialization fees. Alternatively, you can go to a community college, such as Florida Gulf Coast University, for a significantly lower cost.

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke offers two online Bachelor of Arts degrees in Criminal Justice. These programs are 120 credits long and take four years to complete full-time. Students will graduate with a thorough understanding of the criminal justice system. They can pursue careers with police, courts, corrections, and other organizations in the public and private sectors.

In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree, students can get a Ph.D. in criminal justice. A doctorate in criminal justice costs anywhere from $55,000 to $125,000. While most criminal justice Ph.D. programs require at least a bachelor’s degree, some also accept applicants with lower-level degrees or work experience.