Aaron Littman

Assistant Professor of Law

  • B.A. Yale College, 2010
  • M.Phil. University of Cambridge, 2011
  • J.D. Yale Law School, 2014

Aaron Littman is an assistant professor at UCLA School of Law, where he was previously a Binder clinical teaching fellow. He is the faculty director of the law school’s Prisoners’ Rights Clinic, which he teaches in partnership with attorneys from the MacArthur Justice Center’s Supreme Court and Appellate Program. In 2023, his work was recognized with UCLA’s campus-wide Public Impact Research Award, and he was selected as a Bellow Scholar by the AALS Committee on Lawyering in the Public Interest. In 2022, he received the AALS Criminal Justice Section’s Junior Scholar Award.

Since early 2020, Littman has served as the deputy director—and, from 2022 to 2023, the acting director—of the UCLA Law Behind Bars Data Project. In this capacity, he supervises the collection and analysis of pandemic and all-cause mortality data from carceral facilities across the country, serves as an expert commentator for media outlets such as the New York Times and Reuters, and has submitted invited testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Littman's scholarship, available on SSRN, focuses on the sub-constitutional law of incarceration. His most recent article, published in the Yale Law Journal, considers “free-world” regulatory law’s failure to protect prisoners and its potential substantive, procedural, and normative advantages over constitutional law; it also suggests ways to strengthen regulation behind bars. Another article, published in the Vanderbilt Law Review, explores the roles that sheriffs and other county officials play in determining the supply of and demand for jail bedspace and assesses the fiscal and political incentives for expansion. He also co-authored a fifty-state survey of prison visitation policies, which was published in the Yale Law & Policy Review along with response pieces from legal academics, a litigator, and a correctional administrator, and republished in a leading prisoners' rights treatise. In his master’s thesis, he studied the interplay of three conditions monitoring mechanisms in a private British prison.

Before coming to UCLA, Littman was a staff attorney in the impact litigation unit of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, where he litigated conditions of confinement and law enforcement misconduct cases.

Littman received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal and a member of the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic. He also holds an M.Phil. in Criminological Research from the University of Cambridge and received a B.A. in Political Science magna cum laude from Yale College.

After law school, he clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and for Judge Myron Thompson in the Middle District of Alabama. He has also worked as a Justice Stevens Fellow at the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, as a Liman Fellow at the Equal Justice Initiative, and in the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.


  • Articles And Chapters
    • Managing Pro Se Prisoner Litigation, 43 Review of Litigation 43 (2023). Full Text
    • Free-World Law Behind Bars, 131 Yale Law Journal 1385 (2022). Full Text
    • Jails, Sheriffs, and Carceral Policymaking, 74 Vanderbilt Law Review 861 (2021). Full Text
    • Prison Visitation Policies: A Fifty State Survey (with Chesa Boudin and Trevor Stutz), 32 Yale Law and Policy Review 149 (2013). Full Text
  • Non-Law Publications
    • Life Expectancy and COVID-19 in Florida State Prisons (with Neal Marquez, Victoria Rossi, Erika Tyagi, Hope Johnson, and Sharon Dolovich), 62 American Journal of Preventative Medicine 949. Full Text