Jennifer L. Mnookin

Ralph and Shirley Shapiro Professor of Law

  • A.B. Harvard, 1988
  • J.D. Yale, 1995
  • Ph.D. History and Social Study of Science and Technology, M.I.T., 1999
  • UCLA Faculty since 2005

Jennifer L. Mnookin, Ralph and Shirley Shapiro Professor of Law, was dean of the UCLA School of Law, August 2015 - June 2022. A member of the UCLA Law faculty since 2005, she served as Vice Dean for Faculty and Research from 2007 to 2009, and Vice Dean for Faculty Recruitment and Intellectual Life in 2012-13.

As dean she worked to build upon UCLA Law’s reputation for excellence and access, and to support a collaborative and engaged environment among students, the school’s renowned faculty and its 17,000 alumni. Initiatives she spearheaded include the first alumnae leadership conference; new programs in human rights, criminal justice and immigration; and the expansion of clinical opportunities in areas ranging from veterans’ needs to documentary filmmaking.

A leading evidence scholar, Professor Mnookin was a founder and faculty co-director of PULSE @ UCLA Law (the Program on Understanding Law, Science & Evidence). She is a co-author of two major evidence treatises, The New Wigmore, A Treatise on Evidence: Expert Evidence and Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony. She has published extensively on issues relating to forensic science, including latent fingerprint identification, handwriting expertise and DNA evidence, and has advocated for developing a “research culture” in these areas. Professor Mnookin is also known for her scholarship on expert evidence, evidence theory, the Confrontation Clause, and visual and photographic evidence.

In 2020, Professor Mnookin was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joined the board of trustees of the Law School Admission Council and started serving on the board of directors of the UCLA Technology Development Group. She also serves on the advisory board of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. She served for six years on the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Science, Technology and Law, and she co-chaired a group of senior advisors for a President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report on the use of forensic science in criminal courts. Professor Mnookin served on the steering committee of the Association of American Law Schools’ Deans Forum from 2016 to 2019 and was elected to the American Law Institute in 2011.

Prior to joining UCLA Law, Professor Mnookin was professor of law and Barron F. Black Research Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, and visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School. She received her A.B. from Harvard University, her J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in History and Social Study of Science and Technology from M.I.T.


  • Books
    • Reflections on the Post-2020 Election Challenges: On the Critical Importance of Good Faith and Evidence, in Beyond Imagination?: The January 6 Insurrection. West (2022).
    • Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony (with David Faigman, Edward Cheng, Erin Murphy, Joseph Sanders and Christopher Slobogin). 2018-2019 ed. Thomson Reuters (2018). Prior editions: 2011-2012; 2012-2013; 2013-2014; 2014-2015; 2015-2016; 2016-2017; and 2017-2018.
    • The New Wigmore: Expert Evidence (with David Kaye & David E. Bernstein). 2nd ed. Aspen (2010). Prior edition: 1st, 2004. Supplements: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018.
  • Articles, Essays And Chapters
    • The Uncertain Future of Forensic Science, 147 Daedalus 99 (Fall 2018).
    • The Curious Case of Wendell v. GlaxoSmithKline LLC (with David L. Faigman), 48 Seton Hall Law Review 607 (2018). Full Text
    • Foreword – Imagining the Legal Landscape: Technology and the Law in 2030 (with Ricahrd Re), 64 UCLA Law Review Discourse i (2016). Full Text
    • Forensic Bitemark Identification: Weak Foundations, Exagerrated Claims (co-authored), Journal of Law and the Biosciences (2016). Advance Access
    • Repeat-Play Evidence: Jack Weinstein, "Pedagogical Devices," Technology, and Evidence, 64 DePaul Law Review 571 (2015). Clifford Symposium in honor of Jack Weinstein. Full Text
    • Constructing Evidence and Educating Juries: The Case for Modular, Made-In-Advance Expert Evidence about Eyewitness Identifications and False Confessions, 93 Texas Law Review 1811 (2015). Full Text
    • Forensic Comparison and Matching of Fingerprints: Using Quantitative Image Measures for Estimating Error Rates Through Understanding and Predicting Difficulty (with Phil Kellman, Genna Erlikhman, Itiel Dror, David Charlton & Tandra Ghose), PLOS One (May 2014). Full Text
    • Semi-Legibility and Visual Evidence: An Initial Exploration, 10 Law, Culture and the Humanities 43 (2014).
    • Confronting Science: Expert Evidence and the Confrontation Clause (with David H. Kaye), 2012 Supreme Court Review 99 (2013). Full Text
    • Atomism, Holism, and the Judicial Assessment of Evidence, 60 UCLA Law Review 1524 (2013). Full Text
    • Implicit Bias in the Courtroom (with Jerry Kang, Judge Mark Bennett, Devon Carbado, Pam Casey, Nilanjana Dasgupta, David Faigman, Rachel Godsil, Anthony G. Greenwald, & Justin Levinson), 59 UCLA Law Review 1124-86 (2012). Full Text
    • The Need for a Research Culture in the Forensic Sciences (with Simon A. Cole, Itiel Dror, Barry A.J. Fisher, Max M. Houck, Keith Inman, David H. Kaye, Jonathan J. Koehler, Glenn Langenburg, Michael D. Risinger, Norah Rudin, Jay Siegel, and David A. Stoney), 58 UCLA Law Review 725 (2011). Full Text
    • The Courts, The National Academy of Science, and the Future of Forensic Science, 75 Brooklyn Law Review 1209 (2010). The Ira M. Belfer Lecture, 2009.
    • The Use of Technology in Human Expert Domains: Challenges and Risks Arising From the Use of Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems in Forensics (with Itiel Dror), 9(1) Law, Probability & Risk 47-67 (2010). Full Text
    • Expert Evidence, Partisanship and Epistemic Competence, 73 Brooklyn Law Review 1009 (2008). Full Text
    • The Validity of Latent Fingerprint Identification: Confessions of a Fingerprinting Moderate, 7 Law, Probablity and Risk 127 (2008). Full Text
    • Of Black Boxes, Machines, and Experts: Problems in the Assessment of Legal and Scientific Validity, 5 Episteme (2008).
    • Experts and Forensic Evidence, 37 Southwestern University Law Review 1009 (2008). Revised transcript from Symposium.
    • Expert Evidence and the Confrontation Clase after Crawford v. Washington, 15 Journal of Law and Policy 791-862 (2007). Full Text
    • Idealizing Science and Demonizing Experts: An Intellectual History of Expert Evidence, 52 Villanova Law Review 763-801 (2007). Symposium issue. Full Text
    • Bifurcation and the Law of Evidence, 155 University of Pennsylvania Law Review Pennumbra 134-145 (2006).
    • People v. Castro: Challenging the Forensic Use of DNA Evidence, in Evidence Stories (edited by Richard Lempert, Foundation Press, 2006).
    • Uncertain Bargains: The Rise of Plea Bargains in America, 57 Stanford Law Review 1721 (2005). Reviewing Plea Bargaining's Triumph: A History of Plea Bargaining in America, by George Fisher.
    • Reproducing a Trial: Evidence and Its Assessment in Paradise Lost, in Law on the Screen (edited by edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey, Stanford University Press, 2005). Full Text
    • Expert Information and Expert Evidence: A Preliminary Taxonomy (with Samuel R. Gross), 34 Seton Hall Law Review 141-189 (2003). Full Text
    • Scripting Expertise: The History of Handwriting Identification Evidence and the Judicial Construction of Expertise, 87 Virginia Law Review 1723-1845 (2001). Full Text
    • Fingerprint Evidence in an Age of DNA Profiling, 67 Brooklyn Law Review 13 (Fall 2001).
    • Theaters of Proof Visual Evidence and the Law in Call Northside 777 (with Nancy West), 13 Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities 329 (2001). Full Text
    • Virtual(Ly) Law: The Emergence Of Law In An On-Line Community, in Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates, And Pirate Utopias (edited by Peter Ludlow, MIT Press, 2001). Revised and expanded from Virtual(Ly) Law: The Emergence of Law in LambdaMOO, 2 Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (June 1996). Also excerpted in Before The Law, College Level Law Textbook.
    • The Image of Truth: Photographic Evidence and the Power of Analogy, 10 Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities 1 (Winter 1998). Full Text
  • Short Writings
    • Regarding Champod (with Michael Risinger, William Thompson and others), 54 Science & Justice (2014).
    • Reflections on Law Teaching, 62 UCLA Law Review Discourse 126 (2014).
    • Time for DNA Disclosure (with D. E. Krane and 39 others), 326 Science 1631 (18 Dec. 2009).
    • Science at the Bar, 92 American Scientist 556 (July–Aug. 2004). Reviewing Laws of Men and Laws of Nature: The History of Scientific Expert Testimony in England and America, by Tal Golan.
    • Fingerprints: Not A Gold Standard, 20 Issues In Science & Technology 47 (Fall 2003).
    • Expert Testimony on Fingerprints: An Internet Exchange (with Richard Friedman, D.H. Kaye, Dale Nance And Michael Saks), 43 Jurimetrics 91-98 (Fall 2002).
    • Science And Law, in The Oxford Companion To American Law (2002).
    • Book Review, 41 Technology And Culture 828 (2000). Reviewing Of Technology and Privacy: The New Landscape, edited by Philip E. Agre and Marc Rotenberg.
    • Book Review, 17 Law And History Review 174 (1999). Reviewing The Law Of Evidence In Victorian England, by Christopher J.W. Allen.
  • Amicus Briefs
    • Brief of Scientists and Scholars of Fingerprint Identification, Acosta v. Holder (9th Cir. 2012).  Contributed to drafting.  Conducted oral argument on behalf of Amici before 9th Circuit, Sept. 2012.
    • Law Professors' Brief, Bullcoming v. New Mexico (S.Ct., 2010-11 term). Primary authorship.
    • Law Professors' Brief, Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts (S.Ct. 2008-09 term). Primary authorship.
    • Commonwealth v. Patterson (SJC, Mass. 2005). Contributed to drafting.
  • Policy Reports
    • Latent Print Examination and Human Factors: Improving the Practice through a Systems Approach.  The Report of the Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis. (Group leader for Interpretation chapter) (2012).
  • Op-Eds
    • Give California’s college students vaccine priority. Without it, fall campus life is in danger, L.A. Times (Feb. 18, 2021). Full Text
    • Making the Case for Provisional Bar Licenses in the Coronavirus Pandemic (with Erwin Chemerinsky), NY Law Journal 6 (April 17, 2020).
    • California Needs a Task Force to Study the Bar Exam, and Needs it Now (with David Faigman and Stephen Ferruolo), The Recorder (May 28, 2019).
    • The Time Is Now for California to Lower its Bar Exam Pass Score, Above the Law (Jan. 15, 2019).
    • Why It Is Much Harder to Become a Lawyer in California Than New York (with David Faigman and Stephen Ferruolo), LA Times (Nov. 29, 2018).
    • The California Bar Exam, 1984-2016: California Grads Are Not Less Qualified, L.A. Daily Journal (Dec. 14, 2016).
    • Can a Jury Believe What It Sees? Videotaped Confessions Can Be Misleading, New York Times (July 13, 2014).
    • The West Memphis Three and Combating Cognitive Biases, L.A. Times (Aug. 23, 2011).
    • Clueless ‘Science', L.A. Times (Feb. 19, 2009).
    • The Problem with Expanding DNA Searches, L.A. Times (April 5, 2007).
    • The Achilles’ Heel of Fingerprinting, Washington Post (May 29, 2004).
    • A Blow to the Credibility of Fingerprint Evidence, Boston Globe (Feb. 2, 2004).
    • Visual Evidence, Chicago Tribune (Jan. 23, 1997).