Legal Professionals Program
The Forensic Science Initiative, in collaboration with the National Institute of Justice, has sponsored two Essentials of Forensic Science for Legal Professionals Programs. The first Program took place in Orlando, Florida on May 2-3, 2012. This program was advertised to public defenders throughout the United States. On March 19-20, 2013, the second Program was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This program was targeted for public prosecuting attorneys throughout the United States. Based on feedback from our participants and to facilitate a comfortable learning environment tailored to both defense and prosecuting attorneys, the FSI created two seminars. Most participants reported that they found the specialized sessions for their specific area more fruitful. Although the FSI has created these specialized sessions, all attorneys were welcome to attend either of the sessions.
A Basic Crime Scene Investigation for Legal Professionals course was held in Morgantown, WV July 29 – August 1, 2013. The goal of this course was to provide the legal professional with an opportunity to see the crime scene from the perspective of the practitioner and practice the skills necessary to properly recognize, document, collect, and preserve evidence. Local prosecuting and defense attorneys participated in the course.
In August of 2013, the first Forensic Science Training for Laboratory Counsel program took place in Raleigh, NC. This program was organized with the general counsel of forensic laboratories in mind. The goal of this training was to provide laboratory counsel with an in depth understanding of forensic science as well as important information they may gather from practitioners and fellow counselors on common issues faced within a crime laboratory setting.
These trainings provided the basic precepts of forensic science training and supplied the tools to effectively apply this information for trial. Participants were given information on evaluating the scientific rigor of expert testimony and the reliability of forensic evidence. Members of academia, scientists, and attorneys instructed and presented practical examples during these programs. This was an excellent opportunity for the legal community to broaden their knowledge of important forensic science topics while also receiving continuing legal education.
FSI is also sponsoring several FREE webinars on a variety of forensic science topics. Live webinars will be recorded and placed on the webinar archive page.