Kami N. Chavis

Kami N. Chavis

Vice Dean, R. Hugh and Nolie Haynes Professor of Law, and Director of the W&M Center for Criminal Justice Policy and Reform
Degrees: J.D., Harvard Law School; B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Email: [[knchavis]]
Office phone: (757) 221-2583
Office location: Room 205
Full resume: here (.pdf in new window)
Areas of Specialization

Civil Rights Law; Criminal Law & Procedure; Innocence & Justice; Juries; Policing & Police Accountability; Prisons & Prisoners; Public Interest Law & Policy; State and Local Government

Teaching Interests

Criminal Law; Professional Development; Professional Responsibility; Criminal Procedure Survey; Criminal Procedure: Investigation; Criminal Procedure: Adjudication; Perspectives on Law Enforcement: Policing and Prosecutorial Accountability; Criminal Procedure: Selected Topics

Representative Professional Activities and Achievements

Kami Chavis is the R. Hugh and Nolie Haynes Professor of Law and Director of the W&M Center of Criminal Justice Policy and Reform at William & Mary Law School. In 2015, she was appointed as a Senior Academic Fellow at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. She has substantial practice experience and writes and teaches in areas related to criminal law, criminal procedure, and criminal justice reform. After receiving her J.D. from Harvard Law School, she worked as an associate at private law firms in Washington, D.C., where she participated in various aspects of civil litigation, white-collar criminal defense, and internal investigations. In 2003, she became an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, involving her in a wide range of criminal prosecutions and in arguing and briefing appeals before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Professor Chavis frequently makes presentations on law-enforcement issues and is a leader in the field of police accountability. Her articles have appeared in the American Criminal Law Review, the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, the University of Alabama Law Review, and the Catholic University Law Review, and other legal journals. Her research focuses on using Cooperative Federalism principles and stakeholder participation to implement sustainable reforms in the criminal justice system. She writes in the areas of police and prosecutorial accountability, federal hate crimes legislation and enforcement, and racial profiling. She was elected to the American Law Institute in 2012.

She is a frequent contributor to national and international media outlets and has appeared on CNN, CTV, and NPR. She has written for the New York Times and the Huffington Post, and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, BBC News, U.S. News and World Report, International Business Times, Deutsche Welle, and other outlets regarding police accountability and the structural reform of law enforcement agencies.

Scholarly Publications
  • Criminal Law: A Context and Practice Casebook (Carolina Academic Press 2016) (with Catherine Arcabascio, Steve Friedland & Catherine Carpenter).
Articles and Book Chapters
  • Technology, Policing and Implications for Marginalized Communities, in The Cambridge Handbook on Policing in the United States (Eric Miller and Tamara Lave eds., Cambridge U. Press 2019).
  • The Jury Sunshine Project: Jury Selection Data as a Political Issue, 2018 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1407 (2018).
  • A New Frontier in Criminal Justice Reform, 6 Wake Forest J. L. & Pol'y 349 (2016).
  • Body-Worn Cameras: Exploring the Unintentional Consequences of Technological Advances and Ensuring a Role for Community Consultation, 51 Wake Forest L. Rev. 985 (2016).
  • Body-Mounted Police Cameras: A Primer on Police Accountability v. Privacy, 58 How. L.J. 881 (2015).
  • Increasing Police Accountability: Restoring Trust and Legitimacy Through the Appointment of Independent Prosecutors, 49 Wash. U. J. L. & Pol'y 137 (2015).
  • The Coming Crisis in Law Enforcement and How Federal Intervention Could Promote Police Accountability in a Post-Ferguson United States, 2 Wake Forest L. Rev. 101 (2014).
  • The Future of the Fourth Amendment: The Problem with Privacy, Poverty, and Policing, 14 U. Md. L.J. Race Relig. Gender & Class 240 (2014).
  • The Legacy of "Stop and Frisk": Addressing the Vestiges of a Violent Police Culture, 49 Wake Forest L. Rev. 101 (2014).
  • Subverting Symbolism: The Matthew Shepard-James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and a Cooperative Federalism Approach to Enforcement of Federal Hate Crimes Legislation, 49 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 1863 (2013). SSRN.
  • The First Day of Criminal Law: Forgetting Everything You Thought You Already Knew, 10 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 603 (2013).
  • Stakeholder Participation in the Selection and Recruitment of Police: Democracy in Action, 32 St. Louis U. Pub. L. Rev. 7 (2012).
  • Beginning to End Racial Profiling: Definitive Solutions to an Elusive Problem, 18 Wash. & Lee. J. C.R. & Soc. Just. 25 (2011).
  • Cooperative Federalism and Police Reform: Using Congressional Spending Power to Promote Police Accountability, 62 Ala. L. Rev. 351 (2011).
  • New Governance and the New Paradigm of Police Accountability: A Democratic Approach to Reforming Local Law-Enforcement Agencies, 59 Cath. U. L. Rev. 373 (2010).
  • The Politics of Policing: Ensuring Stakeholder Participation in the Federal Reform of Local Police Practices, 98 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 489 (2008).
  • Curbing Excessive Force: A Primer on Barriers to Police Accountability, ACS Issue Briefs, April 18, 2017 . Online.
  • Want to Make America Safe? Here are 5 Ways to Do That, The Nation, July 21, 2016 (with Spencer Overton). Online.
  • Hate Crime Laws to Protect Police are Misguided, JURIST - Forum, July 13, 2016 (JURIST - Guest Columnist). Online.
  • How We Move Beyond Dallas, American Prospect, July 13, 2016 (with Spencer Overton). Online.
  • The Supreme Court Didn't Fix Racist Jury Selection, The Nation, May 31, 2016 . Online.
  • Montgomery v. Louisiana: Baby Steps Toward a More Benevolent Juvenile Justice System, Geo. Wash. L. Rev. Docket (Oct. Term 2015), February 1, 2016 . Online.
  • Q & A with Professor Kami Chavis Simmons, The ALI Reporter, April 23, 2013 .
  • Legitimacy and Law Enforcement in Minority Communities: A New Dialogue, Trial Briefs, NC Advocates for Justice Publication (October 2011) .

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