College of Law

Student Resources


Students at the College of Law can get involved with criminal law issues in a variety of ways, in addition to our course offerings.


Criminal Process Externship
This externship is open to third-year students interested in spending a full year working in a prosecutor’s or public defender’s office. Students must take the companion classroom course, Criminal Process, and need to qualify to appear in court under the student practice rule,  Rule 14-807.
Semester-long Externships
S. J. Quinney offers a variety of placements in criminal law, allowing students to develop lawyering skills while earning academic credit. During externships, students do legal work under the supervision of a licensed attorney outside the law school. They also set learning goals and engage in robust reflection under the guidance of a faculty member. Placements include: Cache County Prosecutor’s Office; Federal Public Defenders; Kaysville City Attorney’s Office; Salt Lake City Prosecutor’s Office; Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office; Salt Lake Legal Defender Association; United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah; Utah Attorney General’s Office; Utah County Attorney’s Office; Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic; Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys; West Valley City Prosecutor’s Office
Externship placement with the Utah Crime Victims’ Legal Clinic
Students interested in the rights of crime victims in the criminal justice process can participate in the externship placement with the Utah Crime Victims’ Legal Clinic.  Under the supervision of licensed and practicing attorneys in the clinic, students will have an opportunity to meet with crime victims and provide legal assistance to them to protect their rights in the process. Students also have an opportunity to research cutting edge legal issues regarding the developing body of law concerning crime victims’ rights.

Clinical Opportunities

The Justice lab
Justice Lab is an intensive clinical course where students learn to be lawyers while solving real legal, policy, and practical problems for client organizations.
Learn about the Justice Lab
Pro Bono Initiative
The Pro Bono Initiative is a unique, noncredit volunteer program. It allows students to build real-world problem-solving skills to serve their community. PBI sponsors a number of legal consultation clinics along the Wasatch Front, including American Indian law, debtors counseling, expungement, family law, rainbow law, street law, and community legal sites (immigration). Opportunities for live client interaction and community service begin in the second semester of a student’s first year. There is a strong emphasis on public service, and students are mentored by practicing attorneys in giving free legal advice to low-income individuals.
Learn about the Pro Bono Initiative

Other Opportunities

Counterterrorism Simulation
Since its inception in 2007, the annual Counterterrorism Simulation has evolved into a cornerstone event at the College of Law. The simulation is part of "Global Perspectives on Counterterrorism," a class taught by Professor Amos Guiora, who is a retired officer in the Israel Defense Forces. The simulation teaches law school students to effectively respond to terrorism scenarios by forcing them to consider the impact of their decisions in real time. In particular, the simulation emphasizes the legal, policy, intelligence, and operational aspects of counterterrorism.
Read more about the simulation
Making a Murderer
In one our most popular seminar classes, Making a Murderer examines the wide ranging legal issues in the highly acclaimed Netflix documentary series “Making a Murderer.” Through clips from the documentary, many trial transcripts, and additional readings, this capstone course reexamines Steven Avery’s two prosecutions, and the prosecution of his nephew Brendan Dassey, at every stage, exploring a host of issues relating to substantive criminal law, criminal procedure, forensic science, evidence, professional ethics, sentencing, and appellate review.
Learn more about the course
Nelson Mandela Writing for Change Award
Named after a prominent lawyer who later went on to serve as the first democratically elected black president who ended apartheid in South Africa, the Nelson Mandela Writing for Change Award provides a $1,000 dollar award to a student who writes the most meaningful piece focused on reform in one of the following areas: racial injustice, criminal justice reform, or decarceration. This award will be awarded each year through the contributions of Sundance Bay, a local real estate private equity firm.