Criminal Law Specialty

Guest Speaker, San Diego District Attorney
Bonnie Dumanis, TJSL '76

Thomas Jefferson School of Law offers a well-rounded criminal practice specialty that focuses on history and theory as well as the nuts and bolts of practice. Students interested in becoming prosecutors or criminal defense attorneys should check out TJSL’s Criminal Law Fellowship Program, which provides special programming and externship opportunities geared to the future criminal law practitioner.

Our criminal law faculty members do not just teach the law, they live it. TJSL professors are former and current prosecutors and defense attorneys who are at the forefront of the development of criminal law in the academy, the media, and the courts. Like all TJSL faculty, our criminal law professors have open door policies and encourage students to work directly with them on papers as well as research and advocacy projects. Through our cutting edge externship program, TJSL students also regularly earn law school credit working in public defenders' and district attorneys' offices as well as clerking for judges with substantial criminal dockets.


Criminal Law

Criminal Procedure

California Criminal Procedure

Corporate & White Collar Crime


Federal Criminal Law


Immigration Law

International Criminal Law

Trial Practice & Advanced Trial Practice

Professor Marjorie Cohn (Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence),a criminal defense attorney at the trial and appellate levels for many years, is co-author of Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice. She is the immediate past-president of the National Lawyers Guild and serves as a frequent commentator on criminal law issues in the national and international media, including BBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and NPR.

Professor David Steinberg (Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure), a former co-chair of the Associate of American Law Schools section on Civil Rights, is a leading expert on the constitutional history of the Fourth Amendment, having published recent articles in the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law and the William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal. He regularly provides analysis on criminal and constitutional law issues for The San Diego Union-Tribune, the Los Angeles Daily Journal and several regional television and radio news programs.

Professor Steven Semeraro (Criminal Law, Antitrust), a former trial counsel at the United States Department of Justice and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting criminal cases in the Eastern District of Virginia, has written extensively on the death penalty and habeas corpus, including a piece in the prestigious Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology. Professor Steve Semeraro is ranked as one of the top 15 antitrust professors as measured by downloads on the SSRN (Social Science Research Network).

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Linda Keller (Criminal Law, International Criminal Law, International Issues in U.S. Death Penalty Law), a former specialist in criminal law and criminal jury instructions in the Connecticut Judicial Department, specializes in the intersection of domestic and international criminal law, including capital punishment law. Her most recent articles, published in the Connecticut Journal of International Law and the Hague Justice Journal, explore the tension between International Criminal Court prosecution and domestic nonprosecutorial alternatives. Her current research continues exploring the meaning of "justice" through a comparative lens, using New York criminal law to inform interpretation of international criminal law.

Associate Professor Anders Kaye (Criminal Law, Federal Criminal Law, Evidence) began his career in the Criminal Appeals Bureau of The Legal Aid Society of New York and is now a leading criminal law theorist exploring the way the law constructs the "criminal," and the ways that this construct serves oppressive trends in American government and culture. His most recent article is available in the Alabama Law Review.

Associate Professor Alex Kreit (Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure) is the author of the amicus curiae brief of Students for Sensible Drug Policy in the U.S. Supreme Court case Morse v. Frederick (better known as the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" student free speech case). His current scholarship focuses on the scope of criminal conspiracy law and can be found in the American University Law Review.

Assistant Professor Christopher Guzelian (Criminal Law) has worked as a deputy district attorney and as a U.S. Bankruptcy Court law clerk in Colorado and as a civilian employee of the Department of Defense. He also has prior experience teaching at Northwestern University Law School in Chicago.

Adjunct Professor Michael Begovich (Trial Practice, Advanced Trial Practice) is a Deputy Public Defender for the County of San Diego.

Adjunct Professor Samuel Bettwy (Immigration Law) is an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of California.

Adjunct Professor Steven T. Carver (California Criminal Procedure) is a Deputy District Attorney in San Diego.

Adjunct Professor Richard Muir (Criminal Procedure) is a senior member of the criminal defense bar in San Diego.