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Richard A. Leo

Visiting Professor

Richard A. Leo A.B. University of California, Berkeley, 1985
M.A. University of Chicago, 1989
J.D. UC Berkeley School of Law, 1994
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1994

Biography | Bibliography | Courses

Richard A. Leo, Ph.D., J.D., is a visiting professor at UCLA School of Law (2013-2014), professor and Dean’s Circle Research Scholar at the University of San Francisco School of Law, and a Fellow in the Institute for Legal Research at UC Berkeley School of Law. He was previously a tenured professor of psychology and criminology at UC Irvine (1997-2006), and a professor of sociology and adjunct professor of law at the University of Colorado, Boulder (1994-1997).

Professor Leo is widely recognized for his pioneering empirical research on police interrogation practices, the impact of Miranda, psychological coercion, false confessions, and wrongful convictions. He has authored more than 80 articles in leading legal and social science journals as well as several books, including the multiple award-winning Police Interrogation and American Justice (Harvard University Press, 2008); The Wrong Guys: Murder, False Confessions and the Norfolk Four (with Tom Wells) (The New Press, 2008); and, most recently, Confessions of Guilt: From Torture to Miranda and Beyond (with George C. Thomas III) (Oxford University Press, 2012) .  He is currently working on a book that is tentatively entitled, The Innocence Revolution: A Popular History of the American Discovery of the Wrongly Convicted.

Professor Leo has won numerous individual and career achievement awards for research excellence and distinction. These include the William J. Chambliss Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems, the Saleem Shah Career Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association, the Paul Tappan Award from the Western Society of Criminology and the Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology. Among his many book awards is the Herbert Jacob Book Prize from the Law and Society Association. Professor Leo has also received awards from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the American Psychology-Law Society, the American Academy of Forensic Psychology, the American Sociological Association, and the Pacific Sociological Association. Professor Leo has been the recipient of Soros and Guggenheim fellowships, as well as a Fellowship from the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. In 2011 he was elected to the American Law Institute. According to the University of Chicago Leiter rankings, Professor Leo is one of the most cited criminal law and procedure professors in the United States.  His publications have been translated into Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Professor Leo has been featured and/or quoted in hundreds of stories in the national print and electronic media, and his research has been cited by numerous appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court on multiple occasions. He is regularly invited to lecture and present training sessions to lawyers, judges, police, forensic psychologists and other criminal justice professionals. Professor Leo is also often called to advise and assist practicing attorneys and has served as a litigation consultant and/or expert witness in numerous criminal and civil cases, including the cases of Michael Crowe, Earl Washington, Kerry Max Cook, Medell Banks, the Beatrice Six, Jessie Misskelley, Jr. of the West Memphis 3, and two of the Central Park jogger defendants. The extensive work Professor Leo did to help free four innocent prisoners in Virginia (known as the “Norfolk 4”) was the subject of a story in The New Yorker magazine in 2009 and a PBS Frontline documentary in 2010.

Professor Leo’s Curriculum Vitae.
Professor Leo’s SSRN Page.