Understand How Criminal Law Works

Criminal Law: Inside the Courtroom

Criminal lawyers argue some of the toughest legal cases: everything from illegal drug sales to murder. In this compelling course, you’ll delve into the anatomy of a criminal case. Learn through the lens of both prosecutors and defense attorneys while studying the process from evidence and witness interviewing to sentencing. Understand 4th Amendment protections regarding search and seizure, explore the role motions play in resolving criminal cases, learn the difference between a hearing and a trial, and gain insight into the role of the judge and the jurors. If you believe you have what it takes for criminal law, this course is for you.

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Judge signing legal documents and gavel representing criminal law

Program Dates

Multiple 1-, 2- and 4-week sessions.


For students ages 13+.



Go Inside the Courtroom

Delve Into the Anatomy of a Criminal Case

Discover what constitutes a crime and what needs to be proven for a conviction. How do you identify probable cause? Is there a preponderance of evidence? Define the steps that establish reasonable doubt and sentencing.

Explore the 4th Amendment Protections of Search and Arrest

Learn the different types of searches, such as pat downs, looking through windows, vehicle searches, and consent. Use a real-life case example to explain probable cause.

Learn how to Use Evidence in Criminal Cases

Learn the rules of evidence, such as relevance, prejudice, and exclusion for constitutional violations. Practice how to interpret evidence and issue motions to exclude wrongly seized evidence.

Study the Skills Attorneys Need to Direct or Cross-Examine Witnesses

How do evidentiary hearings and trials differ? Learn how witnesses provide evidence and what skills attorneys need to direct or cross-examine. Practice performing a witness examination.

Discover How Trials Arrive at a Conviction, Sentence or Appeal

Define a judge’s role in a criminal case and the guidelines used to determine sentences. Consider if a case warrants dropped charges, conviction, or acquittal.

Explore College Majors and Future Careers in Criminal Law

This course offers a foundation for potential college majors and career paths related to law, such as criminal attorney, court reporter, investigator, police officer, and federal agent.

How You Will Benefit:

  • Learn to think like a lawyer
  • Analyze evidence to determine what happened in the timeline of the crime
  • Know how to argue differing perspectives: defense versus prosecution
  • Describe the timeline of, and those involved in, a criminal case
  • Explore the factors that lead to wrongful convictions
  • Demonstrate the analytical skills needed to succeed as a criminal lawyer
  • Earn a Certificate of Completion from Wake Forest University

Lady justice and judge representing criminal law

Apply Now for the Next Available Course

July 7 - July 21

Length: 2 weeks

Cost: $1,295.00

Application Deadline: Sunday, June 30, 2024

July 21 - August 4

Length: 2 weeks

Cost: $1,295.00

Application Deadline: Sunday, July 14, 2024

August 4 - August 18

Length: 2 weeks

Cost: $1,295.00

Application Deadline: Sunday, July 28, 2024

3 Learning Advantages Designed for You

  1. Final Capstone Project

    The course culminates with a final project that allows you to:

    • Act as an appellate judge for a case that you have studied in the course
    • Issue an opinion assessing the earlier decision in which the defendant was found guilty, and determine whether the evidence was: properly admitted, ample enough to prove guilt and whether the sentence was correct and reasonable
    • Use any media you prefer — text, video, photography, PowerPoint
  2. Mentoring

    You’ll receive personal guidance from a mentor who can support you and answer questions as you deepen your learning experience. You can expect:

    • Encouragement and direction on all assignments
    • Inspiration, motivation and confidence to help you succeed
    • Brainstorming and ideation help as you prepare for your final Capstone project
  3. Flexible Learning

    • 100% online, works with your schedule
    • You’ll learn through engaging video—tune in anytime that works for you
    • 30  hours of total instruction and course work, including engaging multimedia simulations and curated assignments for which you will receive guidance and support

Meet Your Online Immersion Faculty Member

Eileen Prescott | Criminal Law Course Instructor | Wake Forest University

Professor Eileen Prescott, Project Director for Wake Forest University Law School’s Accountable Prosecutor Project

Eileen Prescott is a passionate criminal law attorney, having worked in two prosecutor offices during her time at University of Chicago Law School. She went on to work as a prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office where she specialized in federal habeas cases involving state convictions. Professor Prescott now directs research on prosecutor transparency and responsiveness to their communities, in addition to teaching at Wake Forest School of Law.

Meet the Mentors

Ethan | Wake Forest Criminal Law Course Mentor


Undergraduate student at Wake Forest University with a focus on pre-law.

Courthney | Wake Forest Criminal Law Course Mentor


Holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

Kevin | Wake Forest Criminal Law Course Mentor


A corporate litigator for over a decade specializing in antitrust, securities, and white collar crime. He's an LSAT instructor for Kaplan, where he earned the title Outstanding Faculty of the Year in 2019, as well as head coach of a high school mock trial team.

How to Apply:

Student at desk

It’s easy. No transcripts or letters of recommendation are required. Just provide some basic information and tell us why you wish to take this program.

NOTE: please submit all application materials in English.

Begin the guided process. It should take only a few minutes of your time to answer the questions.

Begin the guided process

Want to know more?

Sign up for more information and we’ll be in touch.


Our application process is easy. You can expect a prompt decision.

Apply Now

Frequently Asked Questions

How will you be graded? What are assignments like? How much time do you get to turn around a project? When do you find out if you’re accepted?

Answers to your questions here


We offer need-based scholarships in each cohort to students exhibiting high potential who need assistance affording the associated cost. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship but you:

The University reserves the right to modify the course as may become necessary.