The Criminal Law Association was established by students in September 2010 to educate and inform members and the Vanderbilt Law community about issues surrounding criminal law, criminal procedure and the justice system at the state, federal and international levels. Christopher Slobogin is the organization's faculty advisor, and the 2017-18 presidents are Jessica Haushalter and Ryan McKenney.
Law Students for Social Justice is working to connect Vanderbilt students with Tennessee’s incarcerated populations, create opportunities for legal research in the prisoner rights field, and serve prison communities through campus book drives and education programs. Terry Maroney is the organization's faculty advisor, and the 2017-18 president is Alana Seixas.
The Criminal Law Association and Law Students for Social Justice have brought informational speakers to campus to introduce various aspects of criminal law with students. These engagements, often lunch events, have included wrongly convicted exonerees sharing their experiences with the criminal justice system; panels of local criminal lawyers, including federal and state defense and prosecution attorneys, to advise students as to their daily activities and pathways into the field; and a high-profile federal defendant, prosecuted by the Department of Justice, who was acquitted on charges of bribery and fraud. Engagements sponsored by each organization are enlightening and invite students to consider new perspectives to view issues in criminal law.
See Activities for fuller descriptions of recent events.