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Application of Abnormal Psychology to Forensic Cases

Course Number: AS 200.220.41 (1 credit)
Instructor: Dr. Lawrence Raifman



Instructor Bio:

Dr. Lawrence Raifman, J.D., Ph.D.

Forensic psychology focuses on the interface of law and mental health. Dr. Raifman first earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and education, followed by a PhD in clinical psychology, and a JD Law degree. He was a fellow at the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, and has held a variety of academic, health, and judicial system jobs.


Currently, Dr. Raifman has his own private forensic psychology practice and is an adjunct assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.


Program Description:

This introductory course will examine the basic diagnostic psychology principles. To illustrate these principles the class will focus on investigating forensic psychology queries including: Does my client have a mental illness? Why did he or she act in such a self-defeating way? Should my client be punished or rehabilitated? To answer these questions we will apply our understanding of psychology and forensics to famous stories you likely already know. We will explore the reasons behind why a movie star would shoplift; why a policeman would commit a series of bank robberies in broad daylight; Or why a famous television actor would take his highly-publicized (and dangerous) meltdown on tour.


Guest Speakers and Field Trips:

As part of this course, students will visit with professionals in the field, view and analyze video and movies of forensic cases, and participate in mock trial exercises.





Lawrence Raifman