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Rachel Moran

Associate Professor

  • Education
  • LL.M., University of Denver Sturm College of Law
    J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law
    B.A., Houghton College

  • Expertise
  • Criminal Law and Procedure, Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Police Accountability

Rachel Moran is an associate professor and founder of the Criminal and Juvenile Defense Clinic at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. The 2020 graduating class selected her as the law school's Professor of the Year. In 2021 and 2023 she received Dean’s Awards for Excellence in Scholarship and Outstanding Teaching.

Moran focuses her scholarship on issues pertaining to police accountability, policing reform, and public access to records of police misconduct. She was previously named a Bellow Scholar for a research project studying law enforcement administrators’ perspectives on laws allowing public access to misconduct records. Her articles have appeared in the Minnesota Law Review, Boston College Law Review, UC Irvine Law Review, Washington Law Review, Cardozo Law Review, Villanova Law Review and Buffalo Law Review among others. She has also provided commentary for the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, PBS NewsHour, and many other national, international, and local media outlets.

Moran attended law school at Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she graduated with High Honors and served on the law review. While in law school Moran won numerous advocacy competitions and best advocate awards, including the national championship of the National Moot Court Competition, and was honored with the American College of Trial Lawyers Fulton Haight Award given to the national best appellate advocate. After law school Moran worked at a private criminal defense firm, representing clients on trial for offenses ranging from misdemeanors to first-degree murder. She then became an assistant appellate defender with the Office of the Illinois State Appellate Defender. In that capacity she argued numerous criminal appeals in Illinois appellate courts and the Illinois Supreme Court. Moran helped spearhead the office's constitutional challenges to the mandatory transfer of children to criminal court, as well as the severe sentencing schemes that resulted in hundreds of children in Illinois serving life or de facto life sentences.

Before coming to University of St. Thomas, Moran taught as a Clinical Fellow at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Moran previously served as an adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law and coached many mock trial teams, including two national best advocates and the 2015 National Trial Competition champions.

Scofflaw Law Enforcement, 69 Wayne L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2023)

Police Go to Court: Police Officers As Witnesses and Defendants, Ann. Rev. Law Soc. Sci. 2023 19:9.1–9.15

Brady Lists, 107 Minn. L. Rev. 657 (2022)

Doing Away With Disorderly Conduct, 63 B.C. L. Rev. 65 (2022)

Law Enforcement Perspectives on Public Access to Misconduct Records, 42 Cardozo L. Rev. 1237 (2021)

Police Privacy, 10 UC Irvine L. Rev. 153 (2019)

Contesting Police Credibility, 93 Wash. L. Rev. 1339 (2018)

In Police We Trust, 62 Vill. L. Rev. 953 (2017)

Ending the Internal Affairs Farce, 64 Buff. L. Rev. 837 (2016)