Free online course: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert

The NIJ has released a free, self-paced online course on The course is designed to be an introduction that provides a comprehensive discussion of recommended practices for the forensic expert to follow when preparing for and testifying in court.

The course is presented in 13 modules, including:

  • Sources of scientific evidence
  • Report writing and supporting documentation
  • Importance of case preparation
  • Subpoenas vs. promises to appear
  • Affidavits
  • Being a court-appointed expert
  • Discovery
  • General testifying tips
  • Depositions
  • Pretrial
  • Trial
  • Post-trial, pre-sentencing
  • Ethics for experts

Click here to learn more about the course.

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Lifting Latent Fingerprints from Difficult Surfaces

ALMOST ANYONE can find, process, and lift a latent print that happens to be in a logical and obvious place like a door handle, a beer can, or a butcher knife. But sometimes, a latent print is not just sitting there in a logical and obvious place. Sometimes, you have to use your imagination to find the print and your skills to lift it.