J.D. Honors Program in Criminal Justice
“[W]e set our sights on the embarrassing target of mediocrity. I guess that means about halfway. And that raises a question: Are we willing to put up with halfway justice? To my way of thinking, one-half justice must mean one-half injustice, and one-half injustice is no justice at all.”
- Former Georgia Chief Justice Harold G. Clarke
Despite that fact that the stakes are so high, new law graduates take jobs in the American criminal justice system with no real preparation. They are thrown into dysfunctional systems and expected to be able to perform. These young lawyers learn how to be lawyers in offices that are largely driven by caseload and resource pressures inconsistent with professional and constitutional obligations. The result is a perpetuation of a broken criminal justice system.
The Honors Program in Criminal Justice at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is an innovative program designed to prepare its graduates to excel in the practice of criminal law. It addresses the growing need for law graduates interested in criminal law to enter the field ready to practice. Admission to the Honors Program will be selective and the workload challenging. The Career Development Office will work with students beginning in their first year to prepare them for their job search.
The Honors Program in Criminal Justice curriculum prepares graduates to practice criminal law, whether as a prosecutor or a defender. Core components of the Program approach include:
- Integration – Students appreciate how all of the courses in the criminal law curriculum relate to one another and to the larger practice of law;
- Application – Students not only understand these lessons in theory, but learn how to apply these lessons to situations they will encounter in their practice;
- Reality Based – Students not only learn the ideals that underscore any criminal law curriculum, but also understand how the criminal justice system works in reality.
Students graduate equipped with strategies to allow them to shape the criminal justice arena rather than simply being shaped by it.
The Honors Program in Criminal Justice provides an integrated, applied approach to legal education that equips our students with the necessary strategies to be ethical, professional, and moral lawyers in less than perfect systems.
John Marshall Law School is particularly qualified to offer this intensive, practical criminal law program. It boasts a faculty of experts in the practice of criminal law, with a combined total of over 75 years of practical experience in the field. Our faculty members are well-connected to the criminal justice community both locally and nationally. Our low student-to-faculty ratio allows for our students to be mentored by their professors.
Students enrolled in the Honors Program in Criminal Justice will complete an externship in their third year, where they will be afforded the opportunity to apply curriculum lessons in a criminal law placement. Our location in the heart of Atlanta provides access to a wide variety of criminal law related externship opportunities. Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School has established and approved externship placements with many criminal courts, juvenile law and advocacy agencies, public defenders offices, prosecutors offices and municipal and state agencies.
For information, contact us at email@example.com or 404.872.3593 ext 154.