Jordan Blair Woods is the Williams Institute Law Teaching Fellow at UCLA School of Law for 2013-2015. This two-year fellowship program provides law school graduates who are committed to pursuing a career in legal academia an opportunity to teach, and do research and writing at UCLA Law School in preparation for a law teaching career. During his fellowship, he will teach Advanced Criminal Law (Regulating Vice), Law & Sexuality, and Criminal Justice and LGBT Communities. Woods’ research interests involve criminal law and procedure, and law and sexuality – both separately and where they intersect. His scholarship focuses on the construction of deviance through criminal lawmaking, as well as how the criminal justice system interacts with different institutions of social control (e.g., law enforcement) to define social groups as “deviant” or “suspicious.”
Woods is currently a Gates Cambridge Scholar and Ph.D. candidate in Criminology (submitted July 2014) at the University of Cambridge. His Ph.D. dissertation analyzes how outdated sexual deviance frameworks have and continue to shape discussions about the criminal justice experiences of LGBT populations in major theories of crime and delinquency. A chapter of the dissertation is forthcoming in Journal of Homosexuality. His most recent article “Decriminalization, Police Authority, and Routine Traffic Stops” is forthcoming in UCLA Law Review. The Article critiques conventional approaches to decriminalization for focusing exclusively on how conduct is sanctioned or punished, without considering restrictions on police authority. It examines the implications of this gap through an analysis of routine traffic stops and the lack of attention to policing in traffic decriminalization efforts. His prior scholarship has appeared in UCLA Law Review; Michigan Journal of Race & Law; New York University Review of Law & Social Change; Columbia Journal of Gender & Law; Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice (Oxford); Critical Criminology, Journal of Hate Studies; Handbook of LGBT Communities, Crime, and Justice; and Routledge International Handbook on Hate Crime.
Woods clerked for the Honorable Jennifer Walker Elrod of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He also clerked for the organized crime unit of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Woods received his M.Phil. in Criminological Research from the University of Cambridge, during which he conducted a qualitative, ethnographic study of a police unit that handled hate crime. He was awarded a Dean’s Merit Scholarship to attend UCLA School of Law, where he graduated Order of the Coif and served as a Senior Editor of UCLA Law Review. Woods received his A.B. in Social Studies with a specialization in Social and Political Theory from Harvard University.