Lara Bazelon

Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Juvenile Justice Clinic and the Racial Justice Clinic

Full-Time Faculty

(415) 422-6202


Lara Bazelon is an associate professor of law and the director of the Criminal Juvenile Justice and Racial Justice Clinical Programs at the University of San Francisco School of Law. From 2012-2015, she was a visiting associate clinical professor at Loyola Law School and the director of the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent. Professor Bazelon was a trial attorney in the Office of the Federal Public Defender in Los Angeles for seven years. Prior to that, she was a law clerk for the Honorable Harry Pregerson on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 

Professor Bazelon’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of ethics and criminal justice advocacy. She is the co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Ethics, Gideon & Professionalism Committee, where she has organized roundtables at law schools across the country to develop and revise ethical standards for judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys in the areas of mental health and forensic science. In January 2017, she was selected to serve a three-year term on the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Council.  

Professor Bazelon is a contributing writer for Slate and Politico Magazine, where her long-form journalism and opinion pieces appear regularly, including a long-running series in Slate on issues arising from wrongful convictions. Her essays and op-eds have also been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Fusion, and Los Angeles Times

Professor Bazelon’s book about wrongful convictions and restorative justice will be published in 2018. She is the recipient of a writer-in-residency award from the MacDowell Colony in 2016 and from Mesa Refuge in 2017, where she was named a Langeloth Fellow for excellence in writing about issues relating to the criminal justice system. She is a non-resident senior fellow at Brandeis University’s Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism.

BA, Columbia University
JD, New York University
Visiting Associate Clinical Professor, Loyola Law School
Director, Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent
Clinical Fellow, UC Hastings College of the Law
Deputy Federal Public Defender, Los Angeles
Law Clerk, Honorable Harry Pregerson
Advanced Legal Writing
Clinical Education
Criminal Procedure
Habeas Corpus
Trial Advocacy
Wrongful Convictions
Awards & Distinctions

Senior Fellow, Schuster Institute for Ethics and Investigative Journalism (2016-2019).

Mesa Refuge Writer-in-Residence and Langeloth Fellow (June 2017).

MacDowell Writer-in-Residence (March-April 2016).

Black Women Lawyer’s Association of Los Angeles Community Service Award (2014) (accepted on behalf of the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent for the exoneration of Kash Delano Register.

Aleph Institute Award of Distinction (2012).

Professor Bazelon’s book about wrongful convictions and restorative justice will be published in the fall of 2018 ( ) )
Law Review and Journal Articles
“The Long Goodbye: After the Innocence Movement, Does the Attorney Client Relationship Ever End?,” 106 Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 681 (2017). SSRN
“For Shame: The Public Humiliation of Prosecutors by Judges to Correct Wrongful Convictions,” 29 Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 305 (2016).
“Hard Lessons: The Role of Law School Clinics in Addressing Prosecutorial Misconduct,” 16 Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law 388 (2011).
“Putting the Mice in Charge of the Cheese: Why Federal Judges Cannot Always Be Trusted To Police Themselves and What Congress Can Do About It,” 97 Kentucky Law Journal 439 (2009).
“Exploding the Superpredator Myth: Why Infancy is the Best Defense in the Modern Juvenile Court,” 75 NYU Law Review 159 (2000). (Recipient, Paul D. Kaufman Memorial Award for best student Note)
Book Contributions
“Chapter 11: Ethics in Criminal Advocacy” in The State of Criminal Justice (American Bar Association , 2017) SSRN
“Chapter 9: Ethics in Criminal Advocacy” in The State of Criminal Justice (American Bar Association , 2016) SSRN
Opinion Pieces and Blog Posts
"Redemption for Offenders and Victims: A new variation on an age-old tradition helps criminal defendants redeem their lives, far more effectively than prison does."”, The American Prospect (January 2018)
The Innocence Deniers: When convictions are clearly wrong, these prosecutors don’t just hinder justice—they actively work against it.”, Slate (January 2018)
After #MeToo Comes to the Courts”, The New York Times (January 2018)
Repealing Title IX Guidelines on Sexual Assault: A Dialogue”, The American Prospect (October 2017)
DeVos Has Rescinded College Sexual Assault Guidelines. What Now?”, The American Prospect (October 2017)
California’s Sexual Assault Law Will Hurt Black Kids”, New York Times (September 2017)
How to See Justice Done on Campus Sexual Assault”, Politico (September 2017)
Colleges should change how they handle sexual assault”, Washington Post (July 2017)
Confessions of a Part Time Mom”, Slate (June 2017)
The Landmark Sexual Assault Case You’ve Probably Never Heard Of”, Politico (April 2017)
Parenting in the Era of Donald Trump”, San Francisco Chronicle (December 2016)
The Oatmeal Exchange: Seven Ways to Get Through a Divorce When You Have Small Children”, Slate (February 2016)
Who Said Game of Thrones Wasn’t For Kids? ”, New York Times (December 2015)
Will John Roberts Save The Supreme Court From Donald Trump?”, Slate (November 2016)
Is 2016 a Watershed Moment for Women? ”, Politico (October 2016)
From Divorce, A Fractured Beauty”, New York Times (September 2015)
Pennsylvania’s Shame: Poorly Trained Police. Underpaid Defense Attorneys. No Support for the Wrongfully Convicted. How Did The State’s Criminal Justice System Fail So Profoundly?”, Slate (October 2016)
Put Away the Pitchforks Against Judge Persky”, Politico (August 2016)
Exes and O’s: On Figuring Out The Best Name For The Father Of My Children”, Slate (June 2016)
For Shame: The Criminal Justice System Encourages Prosecutors To Get Convictions By Any Means Necessary—And To Stand By Even The Most Questionable Convictions. Can One Crusading Court Stop the Lying and the Cheating?”, Slate (April 2016)
Justice After Injustice: What Happens After A Wrongfully Convicted Person is Exonerated And The Witness Finds Out She Identified the Wrong Man”, Slate (September 2015)
What Bill Cosby and the Confederate Flag Have In Common”, Politico (July 2015)
Life After Exoneration: When An Innocent Person Is Finally Set Free, It's No Fairy Tale”, Slate (September 2015)
The Good Prosecutor: Locking Up the Guilty is Only Part of the Job”, Politico (March 2015)
Scalia’s Embarrassing Question: Innocence Is Not Enough to Get You Out of Prison”, Slate (March 2015)
Eyewitness Testimony Condemned Our Client To 34 Years in Prison. How Could We Show It Was False? ”, Slate (December 2013)
Keynote Speaker, Keynote Address at the National Association of Bar Counsel's Annual Conference, New York, New York (August 2017)
Panelist, “When Forensic Science Goes Wrong – The Wrongfully Convicted,” International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law 30th International Conference, “Criminal Justice in the 21st Century,” San Francisco, California (July 2017)
"Public defender urges SF to end gang injunctions against minorities", San Francisco Examiner, 02/01/2018
"Defending Wrongful Convictions", NPR, WYNC, 01/24/2018
"This Is How Mass Incarceration Happens: The campaign to recall the judge who went easy on Brock Turner is well-intentioned. It’s also incredibly dangerous.", Slate, 01/16/2018
"When Prosecutors Are 'Innocence Deniers'", NPR, 01/13/2018
"Not Guilty: S.F. Jury Delivers Verdict in Kathryn Steinle Slaying", KQED, 11/30/2017
"Pregerson, Liberal Judge of 'Conscience' on the Ninth Circuit, Dead at 94", The Recorder, 11/27/2017
"Professor Bazelon on the Kate Steinle Trial", KQED, 11/20/2017
"How sexual assault is reported on elementary school campuses", KCRW, 09/25/2017
"Liberals who hate Betsy DeVos agree she’s right to reform ‘failed’ Title IX system", The College Fix, 09/19/2017
"Some States Now Require All Attorneys to Report Wrongful Convictions", ABA Journal, 08/29/2017
Interview with Lara Bazelon on Restorative Justice, Wrongful Convictions, and her Forthcoming Book, KWMR, 06/27/2017
Appointed to the Criminal Justice Council of the American Bar Association in February of 2017. (2018)