Irene Oritseweyinmi Joe is a Visiting Assistant Professor and the Binder Teaching Fellow with an emphasis on criminal law and procedure at UCLA School of Law. This fellowship program offers opportunities for research and teaching and is designed to prepare the fellow to seek a permanent faculty position at a leading law school. Her scholarly interests involve developing theoretical and conceptual frameworks for redesigning under-resourced criminal justice institutions. Professor Joe's Article, "How Systematized Responses Overlook Individualized Problems in Public Defender Rationing," is forthcoming in the Denver University Law Review.
Professor Joe earned her J.D. from Stanford University School of Law (with Pro Bono Distinction) where she was president of the Black Law Students Association and Lead Article Editor of the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. During law school, she was awarded the 2004-2005 Graduate Student of the Year by the Black Community Services Center and the 2006 Imelda Rosenthal Scholarship for Public Service by the Foundation of the State Bar of California. Upon graduation, she served as a fellow for the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama where she represented indigent defendants in capital post-conviction litigation. She then clerked with the Honorable Napoleon Jones of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. After clerking, Professor Joe served as a trial attorney with the Orleans Public Defenders and was the lead defense attorney in over twenty misdemeanor and felony trials. She soon became the Assistant Special Litigation Counsel at the Orleans Public Defenders and was tasked with building a division focused on systemic litigation, legislative advocacy, and the creation and maintenance of resources for attorneys, investigators, and other employees of the public defender office to aid in the holistic representation of clients. Before assuming her fellowship position at UCLA, Professor Joe served as Assistant Training Director with the Louisiana Public Defender Board where she was responsible for creating and supervising statewide training programs for public defenders, investigators, mitigation specialists and administrative staff in connection with criminal misdemeanor, felony and capital trials.
Professor Joe was born in Sapele, Nigeria, and moved to the United States soon after. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin with departmental and university-wide honors in 2003, and won the William Jennings Bryan Award for the best undergraduate honors thesis in the Department of Government.