Laura Bazelon

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. Her most recent law review article, "Ending Innocence Denying," will appear in Volume 47 of the Hofstra Law Review. She is the co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Ethics, Gideon & Professionalism Committee. 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, Atlantic, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times.

Professor Bazelon’s book Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction was published in October 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 the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Fellow for excellence in writing about issues relating to the criminal justice system.

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).

Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction (Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press , October 2018) ) Read More
Law Review and Journal Articles
“Ending Innocence Denying,” 47 Hofstra Law Review (forthcoming December 2018).
“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
This Is What Wrongful Conviction Does to a Family”, Politico Magazine (November 2018)
Christine Blasey Ford’s Memory of Her Assault Isn’t a Case of Mistaken Identity”, Slate (October 2018)
The Kavanaugh Hearings Have Demonstrated How Desperately America Needs Restorative Justice”, Slate (October 2018)
Man Up, Grassley. Question Blasey Ford Yourself.”, The New York Times (September 2018)
Female Attorneys: Don't Expect Anger to Work (as Well) for You”, JD Supra (August 2018)
Punish Californians for the crimes they've committed, not for murders they didn't do”, Los Angeles Times (August 2018)
What It Takes To Be A Trial Lawyer If You’re Not A Man”, The Atlantic (August 2018)
I Didn’t Want Co-Sleeping to End”, The New York Times (July 2018)
Should the Movement to Oust Bad Prosecutors Go After Judges Next?”, Slate (June 2018)
District Attorney Michael Ramos is a roadblock to justice”, (June 2018)
"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)
Moderator, “Ethical Implications for Prosecutors,” American Bar Association’s Ninth Annual Prescriptions for Criminal Justice Forensic Conference, Fordham Law School, New York, New York (May 2018)
Presenter, “Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction,” Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California (May 2018)
Keynote Speaker, “After #Metoo Comes to the Courts,” Annual Appellate Judicial Attorneys Institute Conference, City of Industry, California (April 2018)
Panelist, “Four Perspectives on the Writing Process,” CRASE, University of San Francisco, San Francisco (March 2018)
Presenter, “For Shame: The Public Humiliation of Prosecutors by Judges to Correct Wrongful Convictions,” Association for Professional Responsibility Lawyers, Mid-Year Meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia (February 2018)
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)
"Liberal Law Professor Backs Betsy DeVos’s Efforts to Restore Due Process on Campus", Legal Insurrection, 12/11/2018
"Law Professor Praises Devos's Proposed Title IX changes", Daily Caller, 12/10/2018
"Landmark California law bars prosecutors from pursuing murder charges against people who didn't commit murder", The Intercept, 11/23/2018
"The Constitutional Legacy of Lynching Victim Ed Johnson—Where Are We Now?", American Bar Association, 11/07/2018
"Rectify: Interview with Lara Bazelon", C-Span, 11/01/2018
"The VHS Hunt", Undisclosed Podcast, 10/30/2018
"The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction", PodBean, 10/30/2018
"Do female lawyers in the US face prejudice in court?", BBC News, 10/30/2018
"Police Have Been Ordered To Return California Man’s Personal Marijuana Stash", The Fresh Toast, 10/18/2018
"Court says SF police have to return a man’s seized marijuana", SF Chronicle, 10/15/2018
"Court: California judges shielded from federal pot charges", KSBY 6, 10/16/2018
"Week in politics: Exploring the scope of FBI’s Kavanaugh inquiry, the big takeaways from ‘New NAFTA’ and more", KPCC Airtalk, 10/01/2018
"Gov. Jerry Brown signs landmark laws that unwind decades of secrecy surrounding police misconduct, use of force", Los Angeles Times, 09/30/2018
"Supreme Fiasco: Did the Kavanaugh Drama Just Break the Senate?", Politico Magazine, 09/28/2018
"A third accuser comes out against Kavanaugh, a day before Senate committee hearing", KPCC AirTalk, 09/26/2018
"Third woman’s shocking allegations against Brett Kavanaugh", KCRW, 09/26/2018
"Professor: Hiring woman prosecutor 'offensive'", CNN, 09/26/2018
"As second Kavanaugh accuser comes forward, we discuss where the Senate confirmation stands", KPCC AirTalk, 09/24/2018
"Political strategy, criminal trial and Title IX analogies: we analyze the terms Blasey Ford set for Senate testimony", KPPC AirTalk, 09/21/2018
"All career advice for women is a form of gaslighting", Quartz at Work, 08/21/2018
"Believe it or not, female lawyers are still facing gender hurdles", KPCC AirTalk, 08/14/2018
"The Discrimination Women Litigators Face In The Courtroom Isn’t Likely To Go Anywhere Soon", Above the Law, 08/08/2018
"What It Takes To Be A Trial Lawyer If You’re Not A Man" (Excerpt from the Atlantic), TaxProf Blog, 08/08/2018
"Showing anger can backfire for women lawyers, studies say; law prof suggests 'gender judo' response", ABA Journal, 08/06/2018
"What It Takes to Be a Trial Lawyer If You’re Not a Man", Smerconish, 08/02/2018
"Have you experienced or seen gender-based harassment from judges or opposing counsel?", ABA Journal, 08/01/2018
"Attorneys Seek to Force DA, Former S.F. Police Chief to Testify in Mario Woods Case", KQED, 06/22/2018
"Judge criticized in Brock Turner sex assault case faces recall vote", NBC News, 06/05/2018
"Trump cancels summit, citing ‘open hostility' by North Korea", KRON 4, 05/24/2018
"Lawyers have enhanced duty of confidentiality when engaging in public commentary", ABA Journal, 05/01/2018
"Oakland Mayor responds to Trump calling her a 'disgrace'", KRON4, 03/08/2018
"Official blames Oakland mayor for 800 missed arrests", The Associated Press, 03/01/2018
"California mayor gives illegal immigrants heads-up about impending ICE operation", The Blaze, 02/26/2018
"Warning of ICE action, Oakland mayor takes Trump resistance to new level", 02/25/2018
"Public defender urges SF to end gang injunctions against minorities", San Francisco Examiner, 02/01/2018
"Defending Wrongful Convictions", 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
On March 9, 2018, Professor Bazelon gave a presentation on the meaning of the word “justice” to a class of third graders in Grattan Elementary School. (2018)
On March 29, 2018, Professor Bazelon gave an in-person recorded interview with Arthur Ramos Reyes and Jude Pabonan, two high school juniors at Oceana High School who are working on a paper and presentation about the impact of ICE raids on immigrant communities in the Bay Area. (2018)
Appointed to the Criminal Justice Council of the American Bar Association (2017)