The Forensic Science Initiative at West Virginia University is offering a course this summer to lawyers, crime lab employees and law enforcement officers for a chance to learn about and experience a crime scene firsthand.

Seven lawyers and a professor are currently enrolled in “Basic Crime Scene Investigation for Legal Professionals,” a weekend-long course, offered July 29 to Aug 1.

During the course, participants will explore the goals of crime scene investigators, types of crime scenes, crime scene safety, crime scene documentation, general types of physical evidence, a death scene overview and case examples.

Part lecture and part hands-on demonstrations, participants will process evidence in a mock crime scene activity.

“(Defense attorneys) need to know all of the details of the evidence for their client, or if they are prosecuting attorneys they need to know all aspects of a case and how evidence influences that case,” said Alicia Holman, forensic project coordinator for the initiative.

Knowledge of a crime scene, Holman said, helps lawyers better explain evidence to a client and in the courtroom.

“Providing them with continuing education in forensic science is important. It is a changing world in forensic science and the legal system,” Holman said.

The Forensic Science Initiative is the training, outreach and research effort of Forensic Science at WVU. Its primary mission is to provide free training and continuing education to public forensic service providers, including law enforcement officers.

For more information, contact Alicia Holman at



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