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Western State At A Glance
Learn more about our graduates, their careers and how they are helping to shape the future.
Western State’s Criminal Law Practice Center (CLPC) offers a comprehensive Certificate in Criminal Law Studies program that expands the teaching of criminal law beyond the customary law school curriculum.
The CLPC brings together practicing criminal defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, legal scholars, law enforcement, and community leaders who contribute their experience and diversity of perspectives to the students’ educational opportunities. This fusion of the practical and the theoretical is reinforced with coursework ranging from advanced courses in criminal trial practice, pretrial criminal litigation, and criminal procedure to seminars on domestic violence, the death penalty, juvenile law, traditional vice behaviors, and criminal justice ethics.
Students with a special interest in criminal law may earn a Certificate in Criminal Law Studies while completing their J.D. Students of the CLPC concentrate on criminal law and advocacy in their upper-division elective courses including externships in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties with prosecutors and public defenders.
The CLPC's full time faculty are distinguished legal scholars and as well as experienced practitioners. Most have considerable expertise at weaving “real-world” scenarios into the teaching of legal theory. The adjunct faculty members include experienced prosecutors and public defenders, judges, and appellate court research attorneys.Externships and volunteer opportunities provide real life “hands-on” experience where law students can truly make a difference in people’s lives. The Center arranges tours of various facilities associated with the California criminal justice system, such as the Orange County Crime Lab, the Orange County Juvenile Hall, the Orange County Coroner’s Office, and the California District Court of Appeals, among many others. The CLPC also hosts speakers, events and seminars. All of these programs help students gain an understanding of how the entire criminal justice system operates, as well as the law’s human side
Western State College of Law offers students a broad range of electives:
Criminal Law Association (CLA) partnered with the Criminal Law Practice Center (CLPC) and Western State Law Review (WSLR) to host Dr. Keramet Reiter's presentation of "Parole, Snitch, or Die!"Read More
On Thursday, November 13, the Criminal Law Association (CLA) partnered with the Criminal Law Practice Center (CLPC) and Western State Law Review (WSLR) to host Dr. Keramet Reiter's presentation of "Parole, Snitch, or Die!" Dr. Reiter's fascinating examination of supermax prisons focused on California's own Pelican Bay State Prison, one of the first such facilities in the nation, and raised a number of questions about the efficacy and humaneness of this hugely expensive incarceration model. Dr. Reiter is a professor at UCI Law and a national expert on prison law.
On October 16, CLPC hosted its Fall 2014 Distinguished Speaker, Hon. Joanne Motoike, who shared her unusual and inspirational journey to the bench.Read More
On October 16, CLPC hosted its Fall 2014 Distinguished Speaker, Hon. Joanne Motoike, who shared her unusual and inspirational journey to the bench. Judge Motoike became interested in the law as a child, listening to stories of her father and neighbors who were sent to internment camps during World War II. She pursued her dreams at U.C. Irvine and then at Loyola Law School.
Judge Motoike’s legal career spans more than two decades. Before ascending to the bench, Judge Motoike served both as an international War Crimes Prosecutor for the United Nations and as a Deputy Orange County Public Defender. Her experiences as a U.N. war crimes prosecutor in The Hague were especially intriguing. In Europe, she maneuvered an extremely complex mixed-jurisdiction legal system, including aspects of both our common law and the Napoleonic civil code, to prosecute high-level political figures for murder, torture, and crimes against humanity.
Once each semester, Western State’s Criminal Law Practice Center (CLPC) hosts its “Distinguished Speaker Event” highlighting outstanding accomplishments in the criminal law. This semester’s event was co-sponsored by the Criminal Law Association (CLA) and the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA).