Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor and Attorney-in-Charge, Hofstra Criminal Justice Clinic
Professor Jacob Stevens is the Director of the Criminal Justice Clinic. He graduated from New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden Public Interest Fellow, and from Harvard University with a B.A. in Social Studies magna cum laude. He brings to his students and Hofstra University School of Law more than fifteen years of experience defending the rights of the indigent and marginalized in the criminal justice system. After working as a public defender in Philadelphia and Harlem, and venturing into victim assistance as Managing Attorney at the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, he joined The Bronx Defenders in its inaugural year. There, as a Senior Trial Attorney and Supervising Attorney, he helped build its innovative system of holistic defense to fight both the causes and the consequences of involvement in the criminal justice system by utilizing interdisciplinary teams of criminal, civil, and family defense lawyers, social workers, parent advocates, and investigators. Professor Stevens has represented hundreds, if not thousands, of clients facing accusations ranging from trespass to murder.
Shortly before joining Hofstra University, Professor Stevens was in Kathmandu, Nepal, as a fellow with the International Legal Foundation. He supervised and trained Nepali lawyers seeking to implement western criminal defense norms, such as right to counsel, presumption of innocence, and right to remain silent, as that country transitions from absolute monarchy and civil war to a constitutional republic. Building upon this experience, Professor Stevens’s research interests include the efficacy of "rule of law" capacity building efforts abroad, and what role clinical legal education pedagogy could have in shaping those efforts. Professor Stevens lives in Brooklyn with his domestic partner and with his eight year old son.