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Paula Hannaford-Agor

Director, National Center for State Courts Center for Jury Studies

Paula Hannaford-Agor, Director of the Center for Juries Studies, joined the Research Division of the National Center in May 1993. In this capacity, she regularly conducts research and provides technical assistance and education to courts and court personnel on the topics of jury system management and trial procedure, civil litigation, and complex and mass tort litigation.

Recent jury-related research includes judge and lawyer strategies to minimize the risk of juror misconduct; the impact of jury instructions on implicit bias; legislative and regulatory reforms to grand jury procedures in cases involving excessive force by police; and use of innovative techniques to improve juror comprehension, performance, and satisfaction.

She has authored or contributed to numerous books, book chapters, and articles on the American jury. She regularly teaches state and federal judges and court staff on effective jury system management. She also teaches a seminar on the American jury at William & Mary Law School.

She received her law degree from William & Mary Law School and a masters degree in Public Policy from the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy of the College of William and Mary (1995), and her Bachelor of Arts in Government & Politics from George Mason University (with high distinction, 1991).

Daniel S. Harawa

Assistant Professor of Practice and Director of the Appellate Clinic, Washington University School of Law

Daniel Harawa is an Assistant Professor of Practice and Director of the Appellate Clinic at Washington University School of Law.

His scholarship focuses on providing practical solutions for criminal justice reform and looks at constitutional issues in sentencing. Prior to joining the faculty, Daniel was Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund Inc., where he focused on appellate litigation and criminal justice reform. He served as an appellate attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and a litigation associate at Covington & Burling LLP. Daniel clerked for Judge Roger L. Gregory of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.


Alexis Hoag

Practitioner in Residence Holder Initiative for Civil and Political Rights, Columbia University

Alexis Hoag is the inaugural Practitioner in Residence at the Eric Holder Initiative for Civil and Political Rights at Columbia University. She also serves as a lecturer at Columbia Law School where she teaches an Abolition practicum. Hoag has spent over a decade as a civil rights and criminal defense lawyer, primarily representing capitally convicted clients in federal post-conviction proceedings. Her scholarship interests include race and criminal justice, capital punishment, and civil rights.

Prior to the Holder Initiative, Hoag served as Senior Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (“LDF”), where she represented clients in a variety of civil and criminal matters, including Davis, et al. v. City of New York and New York City Housing Authority, a federal class action lawsuit seeking systemic reform of the New York City Police Department’s discriminatory practices against Black and Latinx public housing residents and guests. Hoag supervised LDF’s parole advocacy in Mississippi on behalf of young people formerly sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. She also captained LDF’s Prepared to Vote efforts in Alabama and Missouri.

Hoag has authored amicus curie briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court and state supreme courts on behalf of capitally convicted individuals challenging their sentences due to racial discrimination. She regularly conducts death penalty trainings on racial discrimination in jury selection, developing race-based mitigation, and cultural competency in the defense team. Hoag also serves on the editorial board of the Amicus Journal, a publication reporting on worldwide capital punishment issues, and on the capital punishment committee of the NYC Bar Association.

Prior to LDF, Hoag served eight years as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Nashville, Tennessee, where she represented death sentenced individuals in federal habeas and related state court proceedings. She clerked for The Honorable John T. Nixon of the United State District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Hoag graduated from Yale College and NYU School of Law, where she was a Derrick Bell Public Interest Scholar and an editor on the Review of Law and Social Change. She is a member of the New York and Tennessee state bars and continues to represent a client sentenced to death in federal court.

Brooks Holland

Professor of Law, J. Donald and Va Lena Scarpelli Curran Faculty Chair in Legal Ethics and Professionalism, Director of Global Legal Education, Gonzaga University School of Law

Brooks Holland is a professor of law at Gonzaga University School of Law. Professor Holland holds the J. Donald and Va Lena Scarpelli Curran Faculty Chair in Legal Ethics and Professionalism and is the Director of Global Legal Education at Gonzaga University School of Law.

He writes about and teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, comparative criminal law, and legal ethics, and he is especially interested in the intersection of advocacy ethics, criminal practice, and social justice. Professor Holland has 25 years of criminal defense practice experience in state and federal trial and appellate courts that informs both his scholarship and his teaching. In addition, Professor Holland serves on the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers as well as the Washington State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics, and he previously served as the Chair of the Washington State Council on Public Defense.

Renée Lettow Lerner

Donald Phillip Rothschild Research Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School

Professor Lerner works in the fields of U.S. and English legal history, civil and criminal procedure, and comparative law. She advises judges, lawyers, and government officials from the United States and countries in Europe, Latin America, and Asia on the differences between adversarial and non-adversarial legal systems.

Professor Lerner writes extensively about the history of American juries. Her work includes not only scholarly articles, but also online publications intended for a broader audience of legal professionals and the public. In many different settings, she has debated the role of juries with other academics and with lawyers. She has a book forthcoming with Oxford University Press in the Very Short Introduction Series entitled “The Jury.”  She is also working on a book about the American civil jury, from the colonial period to the present.

Professor Lerner is the author, with John Langbein and Bruce Smith, of “History of the Common Law: The Development of Anglo-American Legal Institutions” (2009).

Her recent writings include a book review of Amalia D. Kessler’s “Inventing American Exceptionalism: The Origins of American Adversarial Legal Culture,” 1800-1877, 67 J. Legal Ed. 888 (2018); “How the Creation of Appellate Courts in England and the United States Limited Judicial Comment on Evidence to the Jury,” 40 Journal of the Legal Profession 215 (2016); “The Troublesome Inheritance of Americans in Magna Carta and Trial by Jury,” in Magna Carta and its Modern Legacy 77-98 (Robert Hazell and James Melton eds., Cambridge University Press 2015); and “The Failure of Originalism in Preserving Constitutional Rights to Civil Jury Trial,” 22 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 811 (2014).

Professor Lerner received an A.B. summa cum laude in history from Princeton University. She was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where she studied English legal history. At Yale Law School, she was Articles Editor of the Yale Law Journal. She served as a law clerk to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court and to Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. From 2003 to 2005, she served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Shari Seidman Diamond

Howard J. Trienens Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology, Northwestern University

Shari Seidman Diamond is the Howard J. Trienens Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University, where she directs the JD/PhD program, and a research professor at the American Bar Foundation.

An attorney and social psychologist, she has published more than a hundred articles on legal decision-making in law reviews and behavioral science journals. Professor Diamond practiced law at Sidley Austin LLP. She has also taught at the University of Chicago, Harvard, and the U. of Illinois at Chicago, served as editor of the Law & Society Review, and was President of the American Psychology-Law Society.

Professor Diamond received the 2010 Harry Kalven, Jr. Award from the Law and Society Association for Contributions to Research in Law and Society, and the 1991 American Psychological Association award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy. As a member of the ABA’s American Jury Project, she helped draft the Principles for Juries and Jury Trials adopted in 2005. Her publications about juries and surveys have been cited by federal and state courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Will Snowden

Director, Vera Institute of Justice, New Orleans

Will Snowden is the director of the Vera Institute of Justice—New Orleans office. In this role, he continues and strengthens Vera’s existing partnerships with criminal justice actors and community leaders while identifying new collaborative relationships with government entities and community organizations. The collaborations focus on improving criminal justice systems in the South. Prior to joining Vera, Will was a public defender for five years representing New Orleanians in all stages of a case from arraignment to trial.

Will developed a focus and specialization in advocacy around reforming the procedures, systems, and policies around jury duty in an effort to promote diversity and representativeness in the jury box. Will also launched The Juror Project—an initiative aiming to increase the diversity of jury panels while changing and challenging people’s perspective of jury duty.

Will leads workshops around the country as it relates to how implicit bias, racial anxiety and stereotype threat influence actors and outcomes in the criminal justice system. He received his JD from Seton Hall University School of Law and a BS from the University of Minnesota.

Nancy S. Marder

Professor and Director of the Justice John Paul Stevens Jury Center, Chicago-Kent College of Law

Nancy S. Marder is a Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law and the Director of the Justice John Paul Stevens Jury Center. She is a graduate of Yale College, Cambridge University, and Yale Law School, where she was an Articles Editor of the Yale Law Journal.

She has clerked at every level of the United States federal court system, including a two-year clerkship with Justice John Paul Stevens at the U.S. Supreme Court. She has written numerous articles on the jury in law reviews such as Northwestern University Law Review, Texas Law Review, and Southern California Law Review. She is currently writing a book entitled, “The Power of the Jury: Transforming Citizens into Jurors” (to be published by Cambridge University Press) and has published “The Jury Process” (2005), as well as numerous book chapters, essays, and book reviews on juries, judges, and courts.

Professor Marder has edited or co-edited six symposia on lay participation and the courts and organized two conferences on the jury. She has presented her work in the United States and abroad at over 100 conferences, including as plenary speaker in Australia, Poland, and Canada. She regularly teaches a law school course on the jury called “Juries, Judges, & Trials” and has been the Professor/Reporter for the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Civil Jury Instructions since 2003. In 2016, Professor Marder was elected to the American Law Institute and became an Academic Fellow of the Pound Civil Justice Institute; in 2017, she received the inaugural Freehling Award, and in 2019, she was awarded a Baldy Fellowship.

J. Cullens

Founding member and partner, Walter, Papillion, Thmas, Cullens law firm

J. Cullens is a founding member of the Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens law firm in Baton Rouge. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Louisiana State University Law Center, where he served as Executive Senior Editor of the Louisiana Law Review.

A trial attorney, he is board certified in the area of Civil Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and board certified by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. The focus of his practice is on commercial and complex civil litigation. Some of his more prominent cases include a unanimous ruling of the Louisiana Supreme Court in 2011 that affirmed a Baton Rouge’s jury verdict of more than $180 million against one of the nation’s largest HMO providers for its commercial fraud; and a jury verdict rendered in 2017 in federal court in Fort Worth, Texas, awarding more than $20 million in compensatory and punitive damages for the breach of fiduciary duty by the directors and officers of a publicly traded company, including John Paul DeJoria, the owner of Paul Mitchel Studios and Patron Tequila.

Cullens teaches an Advanced Trial and Evidence class at LSU Law Center and is currently the President of the Louisiana Association for Justice.

Mary Graw Leary

Professor of law, The Catholic University of America

Professor Mary Graw Leary is a former federal prosecutor and Director of the National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse. Her scholarship examines the intersection of criminal law, criminal procedure, technology, and contemporary victimization. She focuses on the exploitation and abuse of women, children, and the marginalized.

Leary has published articles in a variety of publications including those at Harvard University, Georgetown University, Emory University, The University of Virginia, and The University of Pennsylvania. A sought after commentator by the media, she is a recognized expert in the areas of criminal law and procedure, victimization, exploitation, human trafficking, missing persons, technology, and the Fourth Amendment.

She is the lead author of “Perspectives on Missing Persons Cases” (Carolina Academic Press), on the editorial board of “Dignity: A Journal on Exploitation and Violence,” and the Chair of the Victim Advisory Group to the United States Sentencing Commission.  Her most recent work, “History Repeats Itself: The New Faces Behind Sex Trafficking Are More Familiar Than You Think” (Emory Law Journal) examines the role of corporations in facilitating human trafficking.