Angela J. Davis

Professor of Law

Office: Room 388
Phone: 202-274-4230
E-mail: vCard


Angela J. Davis, professor of law at AU's Washington College of Law, is an expert in criminal law and procedure with a specific focus on prosecutorial power and racism in the criminal justice system. Davis previously served as director of the D.C. Public Defender Service, where she began as a staff attorney representing indigent juveniles and adults. She also served as executive director of the National Rainbow Coalition and is a former law clerk of the Honorable Theodore R. Newman, the former Chief Judge of the D.C. Court of Appeals. Davis is the author of Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor (Oxford University Press 2007). She is also the co-editor (with Professor Michael E. Tigar) of Trial Stories (Foundation Press 2007) and the 5th edition of Basic Criminal Procedure (Thomson West 2009) (with Professors Stephen Saltzburg and Daniel Capra). Davis' other scholarly publications include articles in the Michigan, Iowa, Fordham, and Hofstra Law Reviews. Davis won the Pauline Ruyle Moore award for Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor in 2009 and for her Fordham Law Review article, "Prosecution and Race: The Power and Privilege of Discretion” in 2000. Davis was awarded a Soros Senior Justice Fellowship in 2003. Davis won the American University Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Research, Creative Activity, and Other Professional Contributions in 2009 and the American University Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching in a Full-Time Appointment in 2002.

Davis is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Peter M. Cicchino Social Justice Foundation, the Frederick Douglas Jordan Scholarship Board, the Southern Center for Human Rights, and the Sentencing Project. She was a reporter for the ABA Justice Kennedy Commission and is a member of the ABA Commission for Effective Criminal Sanctions. Davis also serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the Vera Institute of Justice Prosecution and Racial Justice Project. She teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Criminal Defense: Theory and Practice.



Areas of Specialization

  • Criminal Procedure
  • Criminal Law
  • Trial Advocacy

Degrees & Universities

  • J.D., Harvard Law School 1981
  • B.A., Howard University 1978 (summa cum laude)


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