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About the Book

Criminal Law: Doctrine, Application, and Practice

Second Edition

Jens David Ohlin
Cornell Law School

2018. 976 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4548-9491-9. With Teacher's Manual.

Need the First Edition? Click here

About the Book

Jens Ohlin’s Criminal Law is designed to respond to the changing nature of law teaching by offering a shorter, flexible, and more doctrinal approach, with an emphasis on application. Materials are presented, in a visually lively style, via a consistently structured pedagogy within each chapter: Doctrine (treatise-like explanation), Application (cases), and Practice/Policy (questions providing an opportunity for normative critique of the law and exploration of practical and strategic challenges facing criminal lawyers). Theory is integrated into the doctrine section rather than conveyed through law review excerpts, so as to help students make the necessary connections to doctrinal issues. Aggressively-edited cases help keep the length to a minimum, and modern cases will engage younger students and professors.

Hallmark features of Criminal Law: Doctrine, Application, and Practice:

  • Shorter-than-average casebook length helps make it more manageable for professors with reduced course hours
  • Brief chapters (each focusing on a single doctrine)
  • Structure and content lines up with how professors actually teach the course, as opposed to how the course was taught a generation ago
  • Innovative pedagogy emphasizes application of law to facts (while still retaining enough flexibility so as to be useful for a variety of professors with different teaching styles)
  • Theory interwoven into doctrine materials (rather than rigorous law review excerpts)
  • New, fresh, tightly-edited cases
  • Post-case notes and questions invite closer examination of doctrine/application and generate class discussion
  • “Problem Case” boxes (featuring high-profile cases and which include discussion questions)
  • Hypotheticals
  • “Afterward” boxes (following some cases)
  • “Advice” boxes
  • “Practice and Policy” section in each chapter urges students to consider how the various actors in the process (prosecutors, defense counsel, judges and juries) make particular decisions and the strategic calculations that informed them, and make this casebook more practice-ready than others
  • Open, two-color design with appealing visual elements (including carefully-selected photographs)
  • In-depth Teacher’s Manual with sample syllabi, case analysis, answers to questions, and teaching guidance
  • Companion website with Teacher’s manual, PowerPoint slides, and videos

Thoroughly updated, the Second Edition presents:

  • New chapter titled “Other Offenses Against the Person,” which includes coverage of physical battery, assault, and kidnapping (Chapter 15).
  • Integrated notes throughout the casebook directing students to view a series of 20 short video clips that bring the doctrinal controversies to life in a fictional courtroom.
  • More cases added to represent the plurality of approaches in different jurisdictions.
  • The addition of several “classic” criminal law cases familiar to law school professors.
  • More examples in the “Doctrine” section of each chapter.

Preface / Sample Chapters