In order to better prepare students for the practice of law, legal education must bridge the gap between law school and lawyering by introducing lawyering skills and values to the law school curriculum. Skills and Values: Criminal Law fuses fact-creation and interpretation with traditional substantive law application in the same manner that practicing lawyers do, and exposes students to many of the essential tasks inherent in the practice of criminal law via an integrated approach, blending both traditional instruction with "Best Practices" reform, so that students may enjoy an interactive, skills-based, 21st-century approach to the study of Criminal Law.
Skills and Values: Criminal Law provides students an overview of key criminal substantive law and a series of exercises (composed of tasks) that includes complex fact patterns, relevant state or federal law (case and codified), and skills guides. This material enables students to explore actual legal issues and develop problem-solving skills in ways that arise in a criminal law practice, from both a defense and prosecution point of view. This approach is not typically found in a first year Criminal Law class. The combined use of common law, Model Penal Code, jury instructions, and "real" state and federal statutes is also a virtue. Real-world statutes add realism and frequently come with legislative history and applicable caselaw, enabling students to practice statutory interpretation with challenging novel issues as well as more mundane ones.