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Tamara F. Lawson

Associate Dean for Faculty Development
Professor of Law

B.A., Claremont McKenna College
J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law
LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center, with distinction

Tamara F. Lawson is a tenured Professor of Law at Saint Thomas University School of Law. She joined the Saint Thomas Law faculty in 2004. Currently, she teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and a seminar on Race and the Law. Professor Lawson was twice awarded Professor of the Year for Upperclass Students in the 2004-05 and the 2005-06 academic years. Professor Lawson also visited at Catholic University of America, Columbus Law School for the academic year 2007-08. Prior to joining the law faculty, Professor Lawson served as a Deputy District Attorney at the Clark County District Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas, Nevada, from 1996-2002. As a criminal prosecutor, Professor Lawson was assigned to the Special Victims Unit for Domestic Violence, as well as other departments in the prosecutor’s office. She successfully argued multiple cases before the Nevada Supreme Court, including death penalty appeals. In addition to general criminal cases, Professor Lawson, in her capacity as Deputy D.A., handled environmental crimes, involuntary mental commitments, and bail bond hearings. 

Professor Lawson’s research and writing interests include criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, trial advocacy, cyber crime, international criminal law, race and law, and professional responsibility. Her distinguished published writings include a lead article in the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW, entitled, Can Fingerprints Lie? and a invited book chapter in CONTEMPORARY CONTROVERSIES: FORENSIC TECHNOLOGY, entitled Before the Verdict and Beyond the Verdict: The CSI infection within Modern Criminal Jury Trials.  Her most recent article is A Fresh Cut in an Old Wound – A Critical Analysis of the Trayvon Martin Killing:  The Public Outcry, the Prosecutors’ Discretion, and The Stand Your Ground Law.  In connection with her research on the Trayvon Martin case Professor Lawson made local media appearances and has been selected as the Reporter for the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws. Some of her other notable publications include Mainstreaming Civil Rights in the Law School Curriculum, A Shift Towards Gender Equality in Prosecutions, and ‘Whites Only Tree,’ Hanging Nooses, No Crime?: Limiting the Prosecutorial Veto for Hate Crimes. Her articles have been published in Law Reviews and Journals such as LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO LAW JOURNAL; SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY LAW JOURNAL; UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA JOURNAL OF LAW AND PUBLIC POLICY; SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY LAW JOURNAL; UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND JOURNAL OF RACE, RELIGION, GENDER, AND CLASS; and the SAINT THOMAS LAW REVIEW. Forthcoming in 2013, her research on excessive force cases in Miami will be published in the article Powerless Against Police Brutality: A Felon’s Story.

Professor Lawson has conducted extensive research on Florida’s Stand-Your-Ground law, a discussion of which can be found here: WPBT2 - Issues

You can read some of Professor Lawson's writings on her SSRN page at http://ssrn.com/author=1208602.