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Panel 1: Clinical Education/Pedagogy and the Impact on Criminal Justice Reform


Professor Lauren R. Aronson, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center (tentative)


Professor Fiona Doherty, Yale Law School

Fiona Doherty is Clinical Professor of Law at Yale Law School. She directs the Criminal Justice Clinic, which defends indigent clients accused of misdemeanor and felony offenses in New Haven. The clinic also handles a wide variety of sentencing cases, including federal clemency petitions. In 2014, Professor Doherty received the Yale Provost’s Teaching Prize.

From 2005 to 2010, Professor Doherty was an Assistant Federal Defender in the Southern District of New York. Before that, she was Senior Counsel at Human Rights First in New York City, working to ensure that U.S. anti-terrorism measures incorporate human rights protections.

Professor Doherty received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1999 and clerked for the Honorable Martha Craig Daughtrey on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She then received a Bernstein Fellowship to work in Northern Ireland, where she focused on cases involving the targeting of defense lawyers during the conflict.

Professor Doherty’s current scholarship focuses on supervised release, probation, and parole. She has published in the NYU Law Review and in the Georgetown Law Journal.

Professor Michael Pinard, University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of Law

Professor Michael Pinard is the Co-Director of the Clinical Law Program at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. He currently teaches the School to Prison Pipeline Legal Theory and Practice course, Criminal Procedure II, and the Policing, Communities and Law seminar. He has taught the Reentry Clinic, Criminal Procedure, Legal Profession, the Criminal Defense Clinic and a criminal records seminar. Professor Pinard has published several law review articles and op-eds on the criminal process, criminal defense lawyering, race and criminal justice, and the interconnections between the reentry of individuals with criminal records and the collateral consequences of criminal convictions. He is currently writing a book on race and criminal records.

Professor Pinard has worked to improve the criminal justice system nationally and locally through legislative and policy advocacy, writing and participation in various working groups and advisory groups.

Professor Pinard has been active nationally in efforts to improve legal education. He is co-editor-in-chief of the Clinical Law Review and served on the Clinical Skills Committee of the ABA’s Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. He is a former president of the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA), and has served on behalf of the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education as co-chair of the Clinical Scholarship Committee and chair of the Nomination’s Committee. He is a former co-chair of the AALS Section on Litigation.

Professor Pinard serves on the Advisory Council of the Public Justice Center (Baltimore). He has served as a board member of the Public Justice Center, a board member of the Public Justice Center (Baltimore), an advisory committee member of the Maryland Reentry Partnership, an advisory committee member of the Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and as chair of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Legal Education and Bar Admission’s Committee.

In 2011, Professor Pinard was honored as a Champion of Change by the White House for his work on behalf of individuals with criminal records. In 2008, he received the Shanara Gilbert Award from the Clinical Section of the Association of American Law School as an emerging clinical law professor committed to teaching and achieving social justice.

Professor Pinard received his juris doctor from the New York University School of Law. He was a staff attorney with the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City. From 1998 to 2000, he was a Robert M. Cover Clinical Teaching Fellow at Yale Law School. Prior to coming to Maryland in 2002, he was an Assistant Professor at St. John’s University Law School and a Visiting Associate Professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. From 2008 to 2009, he was a Visiting Professor at New York University School of Law. In spring 2015, he was a Scholar-in-Residence at Columbia Law School.

Professor Katherine Marris Mattes, Tulane Law School

Katherine Mattes, Senior Professor of the Practice, is Director of the Tulane Law School Criminal Justice Clinic and co-director of the Women’s Prison Project –focusing on the justice involvement and incarceration of domestic abuse victims. Her expertise is in criminal law at all levels of practice: trial, appellate, post-conviction, and federal habeas.  She has specialized expertise in the intersection of criminal justice and mental illness, specifically mental competency to proceed and the insanity defense.  Mattes was instrumental in the re-construction of the New Orleans criminal justice system following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  This role expanded her work and the work of the Clinic to include systemic reform on a number of criminal justice issues.  Her reform work has includes litigation, judge and attorney training, community education and legislative advocacy; and covers such topics as the treatment of defendants who are incompetent to stand trial, habitual offender sentencing, procedures for maintaining evidence in criminal cases, and implementation in Louisiana of Miller v. Alabama prohibiting the mandatory life without parole sentences imposed on children.

Professor Aliza Kaplan, Lewis and Clark Law School

Professor Aliza B. Kaplan is the Director of the Criminal Justice Reform Clinic (CJRC) at Lewis & Clark Law School where students engage in a critical examination of and participation in important and complex issues in the criminal justice system.  She co-founded The Oregon Innocence Project, helped create the Community Law Division at the Metropolitan Public Defender and is a Board Member of Oregon’s Forensic Justice Project. She is also a documentary film producer — the 2007 film she co-produced, My Country, My Country, was nominated for an Academy Award, and her 2010 film, The Oath, was nominated for two news Emmy Awards.

Prior to teaching at Lewis & Clark, Kaplan was an Associate Professor at Brooklyn Law School. She was also the Deputy Director of the national Innocence Project and co-founded the New England Innocence Project. She was an associate at Testa, Hurwitz and Thibeault in Boston and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Judge Joseph E. Irenas of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Professor Kaplan was the 2015 recipient of the Leo Levenson Award for Excellence in Teaching. She teaches, gives presentations on and researches/writes in the areas of criminal law and public interest lawyering.


Panel 2: Drug Policy Reform and the Overall Impact it has on Criminal Justice Reform


Professor Raff Donelson, Associate Professor of Law at LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center


Professor Douglas Berman, Ohio State University

Professor Douglas A. Berman attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School. In law school, he was an editor and developments office chair of the Harvard Law Review and also served as a teaching assistant for a Harvard University philosophy course. After graduation from law school in 1993, Professor Berman served as a law clerk for Judge Jon O. Newman and then for Judge Guido Calabresi, both on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. After clerking, Professor Berman was a litigation associate at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison in New York City.

Professor Berman’s principal teaching and research focus is in the area of criminal law and criminal sentencing, though he also has teaching and practice experience in the fields of legislation and intellectual property. He has taught Criminal Law, Criminal Punishment and Sentencing, Criminal Procedure – Investigation, The Death Penalty, Legislation, Introduction to Intellectual Property, Second Amendment Seminar, and the Legislation Clinic.

Professor Berman is the co-author of a casebook, Sentencing Law and Policy: Cases, Statutes and Guidelines, which is published by Aspen Publishers and is now in its second edition. In addition to authoring numerous publications on topics ranging from capital punishment to the federal sentencing guidelines, Professor Berman has served as an editor of the Federal Sentencing Reporter for more than a decade, and also now serves as co-managing editor of the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.

During the 1999-2000 school year, Professor Berman received The Ohio State University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, which is given to only 10 people each year from an eligible pool of nearly 3,000 faculty members. Professor Berman was one of the youngest faculty members to ever receive this award, and he was subsequently asked to chair the university committee that selected recipients in the 2002-03 school year.

Professor Berman is the sole creator and author of the widely-read and widely-cited blog, Sentencing Law and Policy. The blog now receives nearly 100,000 page views per month (and had over 20,000 hits the day of the Supreme Court’s major sentencing decision in United States v. Booker). Professor Berman’s work on the Sentencing Law and Policy blog, which he describes as a form of “scholarship in action,” has been profiled or discussed at length in articles appearing in the Wall Street Journal, Legal Affairs magazine, Lawyers Weekly USA, Legal Times, Columbus Monthly, and in numerous other print and online publications.

In addition, Sentencing Law and Policy has the distinction of being the first blog cited by the U.S. Supreme Court (for a document appearing exclusively on the site), and substantive analysis in particular blog posts has been cited in numerous appellate and district court rulings, in many briefs submitted to federal and state courts around the country, and in dozens of law review articles.

Professor Berman frequently is consulted by national and state policymakers, sentencing commissioners, and public policy groups concerning sentencing law and policy reforms. He has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and before numerous sentencing commissions.  He also is frequently contacted by media concerning sentencing developments by national and local media concerning sentencing developments.

In recent years, Professor Berman has appeared on national television and radio news programs and has been extensively quoted in newspaper articles appearing in nearly every major national paper and many local papers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Legal Times, and in pieces from the Associated Press, Reuters, and Knight-Ridder news services.

Professor Berman sometimes serves as a consultant to lawyers working on important or interesting sentencing cases. In most instances, Professor Berman’s consulting has been on an ad hoc and pro bono basis, and it usually involves a quick review of draft briefs and other court filings and then providing general advice on litigation strategies. On some occasions, however, Professor Berman has been formally retained to play a more sustained role in certain cases, including being retained by law firms to provide consulting service on various cutting-edge federal sentencing issues.

Professor Robert Mikos, Vanderbilt School of Law

Robert Mikos is one of the nation’s leading experts on federalism and drug law. His most recent scholarship analyzes the struggle among federal, state, and local governments for control of marijuana law and policy, which includes a first-of-its-kind casebook, Marijuana Law, Policy, and Authority (Wolters Kluwer, 2017). In that vein, he has written, testified, and lectured on the states’ constitutional authority to legalize marijuana, federal preemption of state marijuana regulations, the political and budgetary considerations that limit enforcement of the federal marijuana ban, federal law’s influence on state regulation and taxation of the marijuana industry, and the desirability of marijuana localism. He has also written on the states’ constitutional authority to withhold information from the federal government, the political safeguards of federalism, accuracy in criminal sanctions, the economics of private precautions against crime, and remedies in private law. Professor Mikos earned his J.D. summa cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where he served as articles editor on the Michigan Law Review and won numerous awards, including the Henry M. Bates Memorial Scholarship. After graduation, he was a law clerk for Chief Judge Michael Boudin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Professor Mikos has taught at the University of California at Davis, where he was twice nominated for the school’s Distinguished Teaching Award, as well as at Notre Dame and the University of Michigan. He teaches courses in Federalism, Constitutional Law, Marijuana Law and Policy, Federal Criminal Law, and Drug Law and Policy.

Professor Alex Kreit, Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Alex Kreit is a leading expert on illegal drug and marijuana law.  He is author of the casebook Controlled Substances: Crime, Regulation, and Policy, published by Carolina Academic Press, and co-author of the annually updated reference book Drug Abuse and the Law Sourcebook, published by Thomson Reuters (with Gerald F. Uelmen).

Professor Kreit is frequently quoted in the media on drug policy and marijuana law issues, having appeared in news outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, the Fox News Channel, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune, VICE News and the Wall Street Journal.

Before coming to Thomas Jefferson, Professor Kreit worked as an associate at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco and clerked for the Honorable M. Blane Michael on the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Professor Kreit has taught in Hangzhou, China and Nice, France in Thomas Jefferson’s study abroad programs and as a visiting faculty member at Boston College Law School. He continues to practice law as a member of the Appellate Defenders Inc. panel, representing indigent defendants in state criminal appeals.

Professor Kreit is actively involved in the community.  He is a member of the City of San Diego’s Ethics Commission, which is responsible for monitoring, administering, and enforcing the City’s governmental ethics laws. From 2009 to 2010, he served as Chair of the City of San Diego’s Medical Marijuana Task Force.

Panel 3: Prison Reform, Prisoner Rights, and Associated Policy Work


Professor Lisa Avalos, Assistant Professor of Law, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center


Professor Andrea Armstrong

Professor Armstrong joined the Loyola University New Orleans, College of Law faculty in 2010.  Her research focuses on the constitutional dimensions of prisons and jails, specifically prison labor practices, the intersection of race and conditions of incarceration, and public oversight of detention facilities.  Prof. Armstrong is cited as a leading authority on incarceration practices in Louisiana and nationally.  She teaches in the related fields of constitutional law, criminal law, race and the law, and constitutional criminal procedure. Andrea Armstrong also serves on the board of the Capital Appeals Project and is a founding board member of the Promise of Justice Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to abolishing the death penalty and advocating for prisoners’ rights.  She is also the elected co-chair of the New Orleans Community Advisory Group under the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge, which seeks to reduce incarceration and racial and ethnic disparities in the New Orleans area.  Professor Armstrong is a graduate of Yale Law School, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, where she completed her M.P.A. in International Relations, and New York University.

Professor Laura Cohen, Director Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic Rutgers School of Law

Laura Cohen is director of the Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic, professor, and Justice Virginia Long Scholar at the School of Law—Newark where she teaches courses in juvenile justice. She also is a faculty member of the Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic.

Cohen has written on topics ranging from juvenile justice and parole to legal ethics and lawyering theory, with a particular focus on the legal representation of adolescents. Under her direction, the Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic has spearheaded several important amicus curiae efforts before the New Jersey Supreme Court in juvenile justice matters.

In 2013, Cohen was appointed as an expert consultant in the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s investigation of alleged systemic due process violations in St. Louis County, Missouri, juvenile court.  As a co-team leader for the New Jersey Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network, part of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change initiative, she implemented and now oversees the Post-Disposition Advocacy Project, an innovative clinical program that provides legal representation to incarcerated youth. Moreover, she co-directs the Northeast Juvenile Defender Center, a regional affiliate of the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC), which promotes justice for all children by ensuring excellence in juvenile defense.

In 2012, Cohen received the MacArthur Foundation’s “Champion for Change” award in recognition of her work with youth involved in the legal system. She also is the recipient of the NJDC’s Robert E. Shepherd Award for Excellence in Juvenile Defense and the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey’s Legal Leadership Award.

In October 2014, Cohen and the Rutgers Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic were part of a team that helped free an innocent man after he spent 29 years in prison.

Cohen earned her bachelor’s degree from Rutgers College and her juris doctor from Columbia Law School. Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty, she was the director of training for the New York City Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Division where she oversaw the attorney training program and public policy initiatives relating to child welfare and juvenile justice.

Clinical Fellow, Danielle C. Jefferis, University of Denver Civil Rights Clinic

Danielle Jefferis is an experienced civil rights attorney and the Clinical Teaching Fellow in the Civil Rights Clinic at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where she teaches and supervises law students working on civil rights cases in federal court. Her practice focuses on the representation of federal and state prisoners and immigrants confined during the pendency of their civil removal proceedings. Before joining the Denver Law faculty, Danielle was the Nadine Strossen Fellow with the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project in New York. There, she worked on issues related to post-9/11 racial and religious discrimination and the intersection of national security and criminal justice. Before her fellowship with the ACLU, Danielle was an associate attorney with a small firm in Denver, Colorado, where her practice focused on law enforcement misconduct, employment discrimination, and prisoners’ rights. Danielle received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a Public Interest Law Scholar and graduated cum laude, and her B.A. from New York University, where she majored in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and received the Ibn Khaldun Prize for Excellence and Achievement in the Study of the Arabic Language. Danielle’s scholarship focuses on remedies available to prisoners seeking to challenge conditions of their confinement.

Professor Nicole Godfrey, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law

Nicole Godfrey is the Civil Rights Clinic Fellow. Nicole received her M.A. in International Human Rights from the University of Denver Josef Korbel School of International Studies, her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and her B.A. in International Relations from Boston University. After law school, Nicole worked as a staff attorney for Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York before returning to Colorado to co-found the Colorado Prison Law Project, an organization dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of prisoners confined in Colorado. Prior to her fellowship at DU, Nicole worked as an associate attorney at the Denver civil rights firm of Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP. Her practice at KLN focused on law enforcement misconduct, employment discrimination, and prisoners’ rights.

Panel 4: Panel of Formerly Incarcerated Juvenile Offenders


Professor Robert Lancaster, J. Nolan and Janice D. Singletary Professor of Professional Practice and Judge Earl E. Veron Professor of Law, Director of Legal Education, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center

Professor Robert Lancaster, Director of the LSU Law Clinics will lead a Q & A session with a group of formerly incarcerated juvenile offenders. The group will consists of individuals who benefited from the work of the LSU law clinics and were successful in gaining parole with the assistance of LSU law students.

Panel 4: Call to Action: The Future of Criminal Justice Reform


Professor Ray Diamond, Jules F. and Frances L. Landry Distinguished Professor of Law, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center


Professor Abbe Smith, Georgetown University Law Center

Abbe Smith is Director of the Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic, Co-Director of the E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship Program, and Professor of Law at Georgetown University. She joined the Georgetown faculty in 1996. Prior to Georgetown, Professor Smith was Deputy Director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School, and a Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law at Harvard.

Professor Smith has also taught at the City University New York School of Law, Temple University School of Law, American University Washington College of Law, and the University of Melbourne Law School (Australia), where she was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in 2005-06. Professor Smith teaches and writes on criminal defense, legal ethics, juvenile justice, and clinical legal education. In addition to numerous law journal articles, she is the author of Case of a Lifetime: A Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Story (Palgrave MacMillan, 2008), co-author with Monroe Freedman of Understanding Lawyers’ Ethics (4th ed., Lexis-Nexis, 2010), co-editor with Monroe Freedman of How Can You Represent Those People: Criminal Defense Stories (forthcoming, 2013), co-author with Charles Ogletree, et al. of Beyond the Rodney King Story: An Investigation of Police Conduct In Minority Communities  (Northeastern University Press, 1994), and a contributing author of We Dissent (Michael Avery, ed., NYU Press, 2008) and Law Stories (Gary Bellow & Martha Minow, eds., University of Michigan Press, 1996).

Professor Smith began her legal career at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, where she was an Assistant Defender, a member of the Special Defense Unit, and a Senior Trial Attorney from 1982 to 1990. She continues to be actively engaged in indigent defense—as both a clinical supervisor and member of the Criminal Justice Act panel for the DC Superior Court—and frequently presents at public defender and legal aid training programs in the United States and abroad. Professor Smith is on the Board of Directors of The Bronx Defenders and the National Juvenile Defender Center, and a longtime member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Lawyers Guild Court.

In 2010, she was elected to the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, an exclusive national society for outstanding criminal trial lawyers.  Professor Smith is also a published cartoonist. A collection of her cartoons, Carried Away: The Chronicles of a Feminist Cartoonist, was published by Sanguinaria Publishing, Inc. in1984.

Professor Ekow Yankah, Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Professor Yankah hold degrees from the University of Michigan, Columbia Law School and Oxford University.  His work focuses on questions of criminal theory and punishment and political theory and particularly, questions political obligation and its interaction with justifications of punishment.  His work has appeared in law review articles and peer reviewed legal theory journals and books including NOMOS, Ratio Juris, Law and Philosophy, Criminal Law and Philosophy and the Illinois Law Review.  He has been a visiting fellow at the Israeli Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS), a Visiting Professor of Law at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and a Distinguished Visiting Faculty Member at the University of Toronto School of Law.

He has been recognized numerous times by his students for his dedication to teaching; most recently he was awarded the Cardozo Alumni of the Year Award by Cardozo BALLSA, becoming the first non-Cardozo graduate or faculty member to be recognized.  His interests have also led him to develop expertise in voting rights and election law and he serves as the co-chair of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, the voting rights arm of the New York Democratic party and the coordinating arm of the DNC believed to be the largest voting rights group in the country.  He sits on the Board of the Innocence Project and has been awarded as an “Advocate for Justice” in 2017.  He has also served on the Board of the American Constitution Society (NY Chapter).  He maintains a public presence writing for publications spanning The New York Times, The New Yorker and The Huffington Post, among others and has been a regular commentator on criminal law issues on television and radio including NBC, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, BBC International and PBS.

Professor Betsy Ginsberg, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Betsy Ginsberg is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where she founded and directs the Civil Rights Clinic.  The clinic focuses on the intersection of civil rights and criminal justice and provides representation to individuals and groups whose civil rights have been violated by law enforcement officials.  The clinic primarily litigates cases involving police misconduct and the constitutional and statutory rights of prisoners and detainees in federal court.

Professor Ginsberg began teaching at Cardozo in 2010, first in the Immigration Justice Clinic and then in the Civil Rights Clinic.  She came to Cardozo from New York University School of Law, where she taught in the lawyering program.   Prior to teaching, Professor Ginsberg litigated class actions as a Staff Attorney with the Prisoners’ Rights Project at the Legal Aid Society, where she sought to reform jails and prisons in New York City and New York State with respect to disability rights, mental health care, and prison guard brutality.  She has been the recipient of two public interest fellowships: the Soros Justice Postgraduate Fellowship to support her work at the Prisoners’ Rights Project; and the NAPIL Equal Justice Fellowship which funded her work at the Prison Law Office in San Quentin, California, where she litigated class action institutional reform lawsuits on behalf of California prisoners and parolees. Professor Ginsberg’s scholarship explores issues relating to access to courts for civil rights litigants with a particular focus on barriers to relief for institutionalized persons.  She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, cum laude, in 1999.

Lila Meadows, Clinical Fellow, University of Baltimore School of Law

Meadows joined the Mediation Clinic for Families in July 2016. Prior to joining the faculty, Meadows worked as an attorney with Second Chance for Women, representing incarcerated clients serving life and long-term determinate sentences in the parole process. As a recipient of the Yale Public Interest Initiative Grant, Meadows worked to ensure her clients received fair and full consideration in the parole process, created resources to help unrepresented clients navigate parole issues, and advocated for changes to the parole and risk assessment process.

Meadows was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. She attended the University of Maryland School of Law where she graduated with honors and was the recipient of the Hoffberger Clinical Law Prize for her work with the Gender Violence Clinic. Prior to law school, Meadows earned her Master of Health Science from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and worked as a health policy analyst focusing on access to and the organization of mental health services for survivors of trauma. She has worked internationally on issues surrounding trauma in South Africa, Malawi, and Egypt.