LAW 5642: Federal Hate Crimes - 2214

Federal Hate Crimes
Class Term:
Spring Term 2020-2021
Catalog Number:
2 (2 Contact, 0 Field)
Graduation Requirements:
Experiential Learning
Limited Enrollment - 3rd Year Priority
Full Year Course:
Standard Courses

Additional Information

Students will engage in many interactive discussions and exercises, making class participation vital.  While students will explore various fact patterns through in-class discussion, the course will utilize a specific hypothetical case fact pattern that will serve as a basis for exploring the relevant statutes and strategies and applying those strategies to various exercises and assignments.  Specifically, students will engage with the hypothetical case through in-class workshops, one short-form writing assignment, and multiple short-form litigation exercises (video-taped mock trial exercises that the students will utilize to compose short reflections on their performance).  Students will receive extensive feedback from the instructor on all such assignments.

Grading Details

The total grade will be determined as follows:

Class Participation - 10%

In-Class Workshops - 10%

Short-Form Writing Assignment - 10%

Oral Advocacy Assignments - 50%

Short-form Reflections - 20%

Recommended Prior or Concurrent Courses

Criminal Procedure and Evidence would both prove useful for the course, but neither are necessities.


This course will focus on federal hate crimes.  Students will examine and analyze relevant statues and key cases with a focus on gaining a practical understanding of the elements and application of these statutes.  Students will have the opportunity to engage in discussions regarding the larger societal conversations relevant to these cases in order to better understand the various lenses through which prospective jurors may view such cases.  Students will also learn about the tailored strategies applicable to investigating and litigating federal hate crimes cases, as many of these strategies are unique to this specific area of law.  In addition to exploring various fact patterns through in-class discussion, students will utilize a specific hypothetical case fact pattern throughout the duration of the course that will serve as a basis for exploring the relevant statutes and strategies.  As the course progresses, students will investigate the hypothetical case (including through an “investigation workshop”), analyze evidence related to the case, and litigate the case (through a “litigation workshop” and mock trial exercises).  Please note that the subject matter of this course will require students to read about, view, listen to, and discuss material that may be disturbing or offensive to some or all students.  Such material may include recordings or descriptions of the use of racial slurs and other offensive language, recordings or descriptions of the use of violence targeting victims based on a specific trait (race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.), and other similar material.

Federal Hate Crimes