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A Virtual Public Policy School

A broad array of interdisciplinary academic centers, recognized for their scholarship and impact, distinguish a Stanford Law education. For students interested in exploring law’s intersection with public policy, these centers, together, create a virtual public policy school—a source of insight, expertise, and opportunities for hands-on public policy experience.

Through a variety of academic centers—from the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance to the Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation—Stanford Law fosters research with impact on public policy. These centers provide many opportunities for students to pursue focused interests, attend conferences, meet visiting policy leaders, and get involved in the scholarship that shapes public policy across diverse disciplines. Law students and faculty also get involved in the work of many Stanford centers and programs beyond the law school.

Much of the research and scholarship undertaken by Stanford Law faculty members has real public policy impact, and students are an important part of it. Students can pursue specific interests by getting involved with other Stanford Law academic programs—for example, science and technology, the environment, or business and economics—and the centers associated with them. There they will find faculty mentors and opportunities to participate in research on important contemporary issues, explore across disciplines, and hear from experts outside the academic realm.

Stanford Criminal Justice Center

The Stanford Criminal Justice Center is Stanford’s vehicle for promoting and coordinating the study of criminal law and the criminal justice system. The center’s activities include legal and interdisciplinary research, curriculum development, and preparation of law students for careers in criminal law. Issues examined by the center include criminal investigation and criminal trial practice and procedure; institutional examination of the police and correctional systems; social science study of the origins of criminal behavior and methods of punishment; and criminal legislation and enforcement in areas ranging from drug crimes to federal white-collar crimes.

Center conferences bring legal scholars together with experts from the social sciences, history, and other disciplines to explore major issues and collaborate on scholarly publications. The center also organizes policy forums and strategic roundtables for government officials and nonprofit leaders addressing pragmatic issues of criminal justice reform.

Stanford Constitutional Law Center

The Stanford Constitutional Law Center maintains Stanford’s long and distinguished tradition of shaping public and academic debate on leading constitutional issues, from executive power to federalism and individual rights. Activities include academic conferences, public lectures, policy research projects, and pro bono litigation—all aimed at gathering consensus and advancing constitutional norms.

Working with other constitutional law faculty and Stanford Law’s clinical program, including the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, the center aims in a nonpartisan manner to explore and improve public understanding of the most pressing constitutional issues of our own time, including the separation and scope of legislative, executive, and judicial powers; the structure of our constitutional democracy; freedoms of speech, press, and academic research; and the right of privacy, including the privacy of personal data in a digital world.