Professor Angela J. Davis Named Distinguished Professor of Law
Aug. 4, 2020
American University Washington College of Law Professor Angela J. Davis – a nationally recognized expert in criminal law and procedure with a focus on prosecutorial power and racism in the criminal justice system – was recently nominated and promoted to Distinguished Professor of Law effective Sept. 1.
Within American University, the rank of Distinguished Professor is reserved for the rare faculty member who is recognized as one of the premier scholars in their discipline or field. The rank is awarded on a selective basis to acknowledge those few faculty who have achieved special renown through their extraordinarily significant accomplishments. A faculty member awarded the rank of Distinguished Professor meets all the criteria for the rank of professor in the field and has achieved national and international recognition in his or her academic field.
“Angela’s important body of scholarly work, her unwavering dedication to her students, and her decades-long contributions to the WCL faculty, legal education, and the study of criminal justice make her an outstanding selection as Distinguished Professor of Law,” said Acting Dean Robert Dinerstein.
Davis teaches a number of criminal justice-related classes, including Criminal Procedure, Criminal Defense: Theory and Practice, and Criminal Justice Ethics. Davis joined the AUWCL faculty in 1997 and was promoted to professor of law in 2002.
Davis is the author of Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor (Oxford University Press 2007), for which she won the Pauline Ruyle Moore award in 2009. She is also the editor of Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution and Imprisonment (Penguin Random House, 2017) and co-editor of Criminal Law (Sage Publications 2015), Trial Stories (Foundation Press 2007) and the 7th edition of Basic Criminal Procedure (Thomson West 2017). Davis' other scholarly publications include articles in the Michigan, Iowa, Fordham, and Hofstra Law Reviews.
Prior to joining AUWCL, Davis 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 recipient of the American University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award in 2015, 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. She was awarded a Soros Senior Justice Fellowship in 2003. Davis is a graduate of Howard University and Harvard Law School.