Professor Elizabeth M. Nevins-Saunders

Professor Elizabeth M. Nevins-Saunders

Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Attorney-in-Charge, Hofstra Criminal Justice Clinic

Elizabeth Nevins-Saunders came to the Maurice A. Deane School of Law from New York University School of Law, where she spent several years as an acting assistant professor of lawyering. In 2009-2010, while on leave from the Lawyering Program, she was a senior fellow for Center for Research in Crime and Justice at NYU Law. She has also taught as an adjunct at New York Law School.

Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of criminal law and mental health law, examining how criminal justice norms fail to account for differences in defendant populations, particularly among those with mental illnesses or mental retardation. Publications include “Incomprehensible Crimes: Defendants with Mental Retardation Charged with Statutory Rape,” 85 NYU Law Review 1067 (2010) and “Not Guilty as Charged: The Myth of Mens Rea for Defendants with Mental Retardation,” 45 UC Davis Law Review 1419 (2012).

Prior to joining the Lawyering faculty, Nevins-Saunders worked on national policy issues at the intersection of the criminal justice and mental health systems as the project director for the Council of State Governments Justice Center. During her time at the Justice Center, she oversaw a team of policy analysts as well as the publication, distribution and implementation of the landmark Report of the Re-Entry Policy Council. She spent four years as a trial attorney for the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia, including one year in the office’s Mental Health Division.

Nevins-Saunders graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and magna cum laude from Amherst College. After her graduation from law school, she clerked for U.S. District Judge Edward W. Nottingham in the Colorado District Court.

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