Psychology & Law

The psychology-law subarea began in 1971 as a program in correctional psychology. As general academic knowledge and professional applications broadened to diverse psychological applications to legal issues, the subarea became defined as psychology and law.

female lawyer in courtroom, addressing jury

The subarea is seated fully within clinical psychology. The faculty members are all licensed clinical psychologists, and all graduate students receive their core training in clinical psychology.

The concentration draws on three interrelated components. First, all students have educational experiences in clinical-forensic psychology, which encompasses the criminal and civil issues of competencies, mental state at the time of the offense, mitigation in sentencing, personal injury assessments, witness preparation, jury selection, delinquency, and psychology in correctional settings. Second, students develop their own related research programs in conjunction with a mentor. Third, supervised practical applications are developed on these topics.

For more details, see the psychology & law curriculum, or find affiliated faculty in the faculty directory.

Coordinator: Dr. Karen Salekin

Specialized Training Experiences

Forensic-relevant training opportunities include the following:

  • Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility – All-male state forensic hospital, psychotherapy and assessment
  • Bryce State Hospital – Inpatient civil and (female) forensic units, psychotherapy and assessment
  • University of Alabama School of Law clinics – Forensic assessment and consultation
  • Tuscaloosa Public Defender Office – Forensic assessment and consultation
  • Law Enforcement Evaluation Assessment Service – Post-offer, pre-employment psychological evaluations for Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department and the University of Alabama Police Department
  • Working on Womanhood (WOW) – Assessment service for justice-involved adolescent girls
  • Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center – Assessment service for active-duty and veteran service members
  • Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) facilitation – Instruct local law enforcement and public safety professionals in mental health according to CIT model