“ Policing is about systems. It’s about the choices we make. . . . And the problems we get are usually a result of institutions, not a result of bad people. ”
Rachel Harmon is a professor of law and the Director for the Center for Criminal Justice at the University of Virginia School of Law. She is a leading scholar on policing and the laws that regulate police behavior. Her new casebook, “The Law of the Police” (2021), is the first resource for students and others seeking to understand and evaluate how American law governs police interactions with the public. Her scholarship on policing has appeared in the New York University, Michigan and Stanford law reviews, among others. She is a member of the American Law Institute and serves as an associate reporter for ALI’s project on Principles of the Law of Policing. She advises nonprofits and government actors on issues of policing and the law, and in the fall of 2017, served as a law enforcement expert for the “Independent Review of the 2017 Protest Events in Charlottesville, Virginia.” Prior to academia, she was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. She has clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court.