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Criminal Law: How to Think Like a Lawyer

Learn the basics of criminal law and procedure in this 4 week mini-law school course. In the first two weeks, you'll learn how to think like a lawyer, learn how to brief a case, and experience the famous law school "Socratic method". In the last two weeks, you'll learn fundamental Constitutional principles and how criminal justice really works from a former prosecutor and law professor. Know your rights, be an informed citizen. 

Criminal Law
How to Think Like a Lawyer


Wednesdays, November 2nd, 9th, 16th + 30th || 7:00-8:30 pm
SE Uplift || 3534 SE Main St.
Four weeks, $95 || Space is limited

Learn the basics of criminal law and procedure in this 4 week mini-law school course. In the first two weeks, you'll learn how to think like a lawyer, learn how to brief a case, and experience the famous law school "Socratic method". In the last two weeks, you'll learn fundamental Constitutional principles and how criminal justice really works from a former prosecutor and law professor. Know your rights, be an informed citizen. 


Week 1 || Mens rea: The Criminal State of Mind
The first principle of criminal law is intent. Did you mean to do the criminal act? Discussion: Can a convicted sex offender be barred from city parks for having sexual urges towards children?

Week 2 (7-9pm)|| Actus reus: The Criminal Act and Defenses
The second principle is act. Even if you intended the act, was it against the law? Do have any defenses for your action? Discussion: why did the jury acquit in the Malheur occupation case? Also, the complicated intersection of race and "self defense," as seen in the Bernie Goetz subway case and George Zimmerman's killing of Trayvon Martin. 

Week 3 || Mean Streets: Citizens versus police in public encounters
What is your right to speak and observe? When can the police stop you? When can you walk away? What do your Miranda rights give you? How should you deal with police?

Week 4 || Criminal Prosecution: Myth versus Reality
What happens in a police investigation + in criminal prosecution? What happens after arrest? What happens in the secret Grand Jury? An overview of prosecution and trial, with behind-the-scenes insight.


Simon Whang is an attorney and adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark Law School. He served as an assistant attorney general, and prosecutor for Multnomah County and Manhattan D.A.’s Offices.

Douglas Tsoi went to law school with Simon. He is a teacher and the founder of Portland Underground Grad School.