Tracey L. Meares

Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law

(on leave, fall 2015)


Tracey L. Meares is the Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Before arriving at Yale Law School, she was Max Pam Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice at the University of Chicago Law School.

FULL BIOGRAPHY

Contact Information


Yale Law School

P.O. Box 208215

New Haven, CT 06520

Education & Curriculum Vitae


J.D., University of Chicago, 1991

B.S., University of Illinois, 1988

Courses Taught


  • Criminal Law and Administration
  • Criminal Procedure

Tracey L. Meares is the Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law at Yale University. Before arriving at Yale, she was Max Pam Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice at the University of Chicago Law School. She was, at both The University of Chicago and Yale Law Schools, the first African American woman to be granted tenure. Before going into academia, Professor Meares held positions clerking for the Honorable Harlington Wood, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and as an Honors Program Trial Attorney in the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice.

Professor Meares has worked extensively with the federal government, having served on the Committee on Law and Justice, a National Research Council Standing Committee of the National Academy of Sciences from 2004–2011. Additionally, she has served on two National Research Council Review Committees: one to review research on police policy and practices, which produced the book, Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing: The Evidence (2004, Skogan and Frydl, eds.) and another to review the National Institute of Justice, Strengthening the National Institute of Justice, (2010, Welford, Chemers and Schuck, eds). In November of 2010, Meares was named by Attorney General Eric Holder to sit on the Department of Justice’s newly-created Science Advisory Board. And in December 2014, President Obama named her as a member of his Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Professor Meares’s teaching and research interests focus on criminal procedure and criminal law policy, with a particular emphasis on empirical investigation of these subjects. Her writings on such issues as crime prevention and community capacity building are concertedly interdisciplinary and reflect a civil society approach to law enforcement that builds upon the interaction between law, culture, social norms, and social organization. She has written widely on these topics in both the academic and trade press. To this end, Professor Meares has been engaged in a number of action-oriented research projects in Chicago, Northern California, and several sites across New York State focused on violence reduction through legitimacy-enhancing strategies. Meares has been especially interested as of late in teaching and writing about communities, police legitimacy, and legal policy, and she has lectured on this topic extensively across the country to audiences of academics, lay people, and police professionals. Together with Tom Tyler, she directs the Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School, which plays a central role, along with John Jay University and the Center for Policing Equity at UCLA in a new federal initiative to build trust and confidence in the criminal justice system. She has a B.S. in general engineering from the University of Illinois and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Justice Collaboratory Holds Inaugural Conference

The Justice Collaboratory at Yale held its first conference on April 16 & 17 on Policing Post-Ferguson. Vanita Gupta, Acting Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, delivered the keynote address. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015


The Justice Department Announces the First Six Pilot Sites For the National Effort to Build Trust and Reconciliation

The Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School is one of the academic institutions that have joined together to form the National Initiative.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Professor Meares, Members of Police Task Force Meet with President Obama

On March 2, 2015, President Barack Obama met with the Task Force on 21st Century Policing to discuss its recommendations to help communities and law enforcement agencies strengthen trust and collaboration, while continuing to reduce crime.

Friday, December 19, 2014


Professor Meares Named to Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Tracey L. Meares, the Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law at Yale Law School, has been named to a Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Policing aimed at strengthening community policing and trust among law enforcement and the communities they serve. 

Monday, September 22, 2014


YLS Professors Enlisted in Nationwide Initiative to Build Community Trust and Justice

U.S. Department of Justice launches the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, which will be funded through a $4.75 million collaborative agreement. The initiative brings together a team of experts, including Yale Law School Professors Tracey Meares and Tom Tyler.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Stanley Milgram Library Exhibit, Conference Will Examine his Legacy and Influence on Law and Social Psychology

The Lillian Goldman Law Library will feature a new exhibit on the work of former Yale University social psychologist Stanley Milgram on October 11, 2013.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Rolling Law Out to the Streets

Yale Law School Professors Tracey Meares and Tom Tyler are working at the forefront of two issues faced by police across the country: reducing gun violence and improving the legitimacy of law enforcement. Both Meares and Tyler are leading the way in using research and cutting-edge theory in law and social science to create strategies to promote crime reduction, procedural justice, and legitimacy of law.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Tracey L. Meares to Discuss Reducing Violent Crime in Walton Hale Hamilton Inaugural Lecture

The lecture will discuss a book project led by Meares and colleagues aimed at documenting and explaining efforts to address violent crime in several major cities across the country.

Books

Legitimacy and Criminal Justice: A Comparative Perspective (Sage Foundation, 2007) (edited with Anthony Braga, Jeffrey Fagan, Robert Sampson, Tom R. Tyler and Christopher Winship) 

Urgent Times: Policing and Rights in Inner City Communities (Beacon Press 1999) (with Dan Kahan).

Book Chapters and Sections

“The Law of Community Policing and Public Order Policing” in The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Springer, 2014)

“The Distribution of Dignity and the Fourth Amendment” in The Political Heart of Criminal Procedure: Essays on Themes of William J. Stuntz, Michael Klarman, David Skeel and Carol Steiker, eds. (Cambridge University Press, 2011)

“The Progressive Past” in Constitution in 2020, Jack Balkin and Reva Siegel, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2009)

“Third Party Policing: A Critic” in Prospects and Problems in an Era of Police Innovation: Contrasting Perspectives, David Weisburd and Anthony Braga, eds. (Cambridge University Press, 2006)

“Simple Solutions?: The Complexity of Public Attitudes Relevant to Drug Law Enforcement Policy” in Crime Control and Social Justice: The Delicate Balance, Darnell F. Hawkins, Samuel Myers Jr., and Randolph Stone, eds. (Greenwood, 2003)

“Communities, Conflicts and Social Capital” in Moving Out: What Should Be Done for those Who Have Been Left Behind by Owen Fiss (Princeton University Press, 2003)

“Race and Crime (including Ethnicity)” in The International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (Elsevier, 2001) 

Articles

“Broken Windows, Neighborhoods, and the Legitimacy of Law Enforcement, or Why I Fell In and Out of Love with Zimbardo”
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency (forthcoming)

“Lawful or Fair? How Cops and Laypeople View Good Policing” (with Tom Tyler and Jacob Garderner) Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, (forthcoming)

“Programming Errors, Understanding the Constitutionality of Stop and Frisk as a Program, Not an Incident” 82 University of Chicago Law Review 159 (2015)

“Justice Sotomayor and the Jurisprudence of Procedural Justice” 123 Yale Law Journal Forum 525 (2014)

“The Law and Social Science of Stop and Frisk” 2014 Annual Review of Law and Social Science 335 (2014)

“How the Criminal Justice System Educates Citizens” (with Benjamin Justice) 651 The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 159 (2014)

George Wythe Lecture, William & Mary College of Law: “The Good Cop: Knowing the Difference Between Lawful or Effective and Rightful Policing (and why it matters)” 54 William & Mary Law Review 1865 (2013)

“Why Do Criminals Obey the Law” (with Andrew Papachristos and Jeffrey Fagan) 102 Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 397 (2012)

“Randomization and the Fourth Amendment” (with Bernard Harcourt) 78 The University of Chicago Law Review 809 (2011)

Barrock Lecture on Criminal Law: “The Legitimacy of Police Among Young African American Men” 92 Marquette Law Review 651 (2009)

“Punishment, Deterrence and Social Control: The Paradox of Punishment in Minority Communities” (with Jeffrey Fagan) 6 Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 173 (2008)

“Attention Felons: Evaluating Project Safe Neighborhoods in Chicago” (with Andrew Papachristos and Jeffrey Fagan) 4 Journal of Empirical Legal Research 223 (2007)

“When 2 or 3 Come Together“ (with Kelsi Brown Korkran) 48 William and Mary Law Review 1315 (2007) 

"Warren Court Retrospective: Everything Old Is New Again: Fundamental Fairness and the Legitimacy of Criminal Justice," 3 Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 117 (2005).

"Seeing Crime and Punishment Through a Sociological Lens: Contributions, Practices, and the Future," 2005 University of Chicago Legal Forum 285 (2005) (with Calvin Morrill, John Hagan and Bernard Harcourt).

"Updating the Study of Punishment," 56 Stanford Law Review 1171 (2004) (with Dan Kahan and Neal Katyal).

"Lawful Policing,"593 The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 66 (18) (2004) (with Wesley Skogan).

"Mass Incarceration:  Who Pays the Price for Criminal Offending" 3 Criminology and Public Policy 295 (2004).

"Praying for Community Policing," 90 California Law Review 1593 (2002).

"Punishment, Deterrence And Social Control: The Paradox of Punishment in Minority Communities," Punishment and Society (forthcoming) (with Jeffrey Fagan).

"Three Objections to the Use of Empiricism in Criminal Law and Procedure -- And Three Answers," 2002 University of Illinois Law Review 101 (2002).

"Signaling, Legitimacy, and Compliance: A Comment on Posner's Law and Social Norms and Criminal Law Policy," 36 University of Richmond Law Review 407 (2002).

"Simple Solutions?: The Complexity of Public Attitudes Relevant to Drug Law Enforcement Policy" in Crime Control and Social Justice: The Delicate Balance, Darnell F. Hawkins, Samuel Myers Jr., and Randolph Stone, eds. (forthcoming).

Communities, Conflicts and Social Capital in Owen Fiss, Moving Out:  What Should Be Done for those Who Have Been Left Behind (Princeton University Press forthcoming).

"Race and Crime (including Ethnicity)" in 2001 International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, N. J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes, eds. (Pergamon Oxford).

"Punishment, Deterrence And Social Control: The Paradox of Punishment in Minority Communities," Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper Program, Legal Scholarship Network (2000) (with Jeffrey Fagan).

Symposium: New and Critical Approaches to Law and Economics: "Norms, Legitimacy and Law Enforcement," 79 Oregon Law Review 391 (2000).

"Foreword: Transparent Adjudication and Social Science Research in Constitutional Criminal Procedure," 90 Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 733 (2000) (with Bernard Harcourt).

"Adolescence, Context, and Culpability: Some Thoughts on the Next Essay," 6 Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law 583 (1999).

"Law and (Norms of) Order in the Inner City," 32 Law and Society Review 805 (1998) (with Dan Kahan).

"Black, White and Gray: A Reply to Alschuler and Schulhofer" 1998 University of Chicago Legal Forum 245 (1998) (with Dan Kahan).

"The Wages of Antiquated Procedural Thinking: A Critique of Chicago v. Morales," 1998 University of Chicago Legal Forum 197 (1998) (with Dan Kahan).

"Terry and the Relevance of Politics," 72 St. John's Law Review 101 (1998).

"The Coming Crisis of Criminal Procedure," 86 Georgetown Law Journal 1153 (1998) (with Dan Kahan).

"The Increasing Significance of Genes: Reproducing Race," (book review) 92 Northwestern Law Review 1046 (1998).

"Place and Crime," 73 Chicago-Kent Law Review 669 (1998).

"Social Organization and Drug Law Enforcement," -35 American Criminal Law Review 191 (1998).

"It's a Question of Connections," 31 Valparaiso Law Review 579 (1997).

"Charting Race and Class Differences in Attitudes Toward Drug Legalization and Law Enforcement: Lessons for Federal Criminal Law," 1 Buffalo Criminal Law Review 137 (1997).

"Rewards for Good Behavior: Influencing Prosecutorial Discretion and Conduct with Financial Incentives," 64 Fordham Law Review 851 (1995).

"Exploring Departures Based on the Victim's Wrongful Conduct through U.S. v. Koon," 7 Federal Sentencing Reporter 201 (1995).

Other Publications

“Rightful Policing” (with Peter Neyroud) Perspectives in Policing Bulletin. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice. NCJ 248411 (2015)

“Ferguson’s Schools Are Just As Troubling as Its Police” The New Republic (August 22, 2014)

"What Chicago is Doing Right” Bill Moyers GroupThink (January 30, 2013)

“Firearm Violence A Public Health Problem” The Hartford Courant (December 20, 2013)

“Justice Falls Down” (Review of William Stuntz’s The Collapse of Criminal Justice) Harvard Magazine (March-April 2012)

“Taking Traffic Violations Seriously” New York Times, Room for Debate (February 27, 2012)

“The Arizona Solution” (with Jeffrey Fagan) Slate Magazine (May 24, 2010)

“What the Court Didn’t Do” (Commentary on Graham v. Florida) New York Times, Room for Debate (May 10, 2010)

“Profiling Not Pathway to Safe Streets” New Haven Register (August 12, 2009)

“Law Enforcement for Lawabiders” Ideas In American Policing, Number 8, January 2007 

"Public-Order Policing Can Pass Constitutional Muster," Wall St. J. at A18 (June 15, 1999) (with Dan Kahan).

"When Rights Are Wrong," Boston Review, p.4 (April/May 1999) (with Dan Kahan).

"Let's Cut Chain Gangs Loose, " U.S. Catholic Magazine, p. 20 (July 1997).

"Weak Link," The University of Chicago Magazine, p.48 (February 1996).

"Land of Lincoln Shouldn't Revive Chain Gangs," Chicago Tribune, §1, p.25 (March 15, 1996).