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Alafair S. Burke

Professor of Law


JD, 1994, Stanford Univ; BA, 1991, Reed Coll


Professor Burke teaches criminal law and criminal procedure subjects. Her research intersects criminal law and procedure and focuses on policing and prosecutorial policies. She has written about prosecutorial decision making in a variety of pre-trial and trial contexts, community policing, and the criminal law's treatment of domestic violence. Professor Burke has published articles in the Yale, Michigan, George Washington, North Carolina, Washington, and William and Mary Law Reviews, among other journals. She frequently works with the Department of Justice and state and local prosecutors across the country to improve the quality of prosecutorial discretion.

Before joining the law school faculty in 2001, Professor Burke served as a deputy district attorney in Portland, Oregon, where she tried more than 30 criminal cases, primarily against domestic violence offenders, and helped innovate neighborhood-based prosecution methods. Professor Burke graduated with distinction from Stanford Law School, where she was elected to Order of the Coif, published a note on prosecutorial ethics in the Stanford Law Review, and was an articles editor of the Stanford Law and Public Policy Journal and a member of the Stanford Journal of International Law. She served as a law clerk to Judge Betty B. Fletcher of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Professor Burke is also the author of 12 bestselling crime novels.

PDF file icon Curriculum Vitae



When Family Matters, 119 Yale L. J. 1210 (2010) (features essay).

Prosecutorial Agnosticism, 8 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 79 (2010) (symposium).

Talking About Prosecutors, 31 Cardozo L. Rev. 2119 (2010) (symposium).

Classroom Storytelling, 78 UMKC L. Rev. 1031 (2010) (symposium).

Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Prosecutions and the New Policing, in Criminal Law Conversations (Robinson, Ferzan, and Garvey eds.) (Oxford University Press, 2009).

Revisiting Prosecutorial Disclosure, 84 Indiana Law J. 481 (2009).

Comment, Brady?s Brainteaser: The Accidental Prosecutor and Cognitive Bias, 57Case W. Res. L. Rev. 575 (2007) (symposium).

Prosecutorial Passion, Cognitive Bias, and Plea Bargaining, 91 Marquette L. Rev. 183 (2007) (symposium).

Neutralizing Cognitive Bias: An Invitation to Prosecutors, 2 N.Y.U. Law & Liberty 512 (2007) (symposium).

Domestic Violence as a Crime of Pattern and Intent: An Alternative Reconceptualization, 75 George Washington L. Rev. 552 (2007).

Lawless Neptune, in Neptune Noir (Rob Thomas, ed., 2007) (discussing the depiction of law in the popular television show Veronica Mars).

Improving Prosecutorial Decision Making: Some Lessons of Cognitive Science, 47 William & Mary L. Rev. 1587 (2006).

?Administrative Searches,? ?Arrest Without Warrant,? and ?Board of Education v. Earls,? in The Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties (2006).

Review: Murder and the Reasonable Man: Passion and Fear in the Criminal Courtroom, 103 Mich. L. Rev. 1043 (2005).

Unpacking New Policing: Confessions of a Former Neighborhood District Attorney, 78 Wash. L. Rev. 985 (2003).

Rational Actors, Self-Defense, and Duress: Making Sense, Not Syndromes, Out of the Battered Woman, 81 N.C. L. Rev. 211 (2002), excerpts reprinted in Kaplan, Weisberg & Binder, Criminal Law: Cases and Materials (6th ed., Aspen, 2008).

A Few Straight Men: Homosexuals in the Military and Equal Protection, 6 Stan. Law & Pol. Rev. 109 (1994).

Note, Reconciling Professional Ethics and Prosecutorial Power: The No Contact Rule Debate, 46 Stan. L. Rev. 1635 (1994), cited in Stephen Gillers, Regulation of Lawyers: Problems of Law and Ethics (7th ed., Aspen, 2005).

Remembering Emotional Events, 20 Memory & Cognition 277 (1992) (with co-authors F. Heuer & D. Reisberg).


212 (Harper Collins, 2010).
ANGEL?S TIP (HarperCollins, 2008).
DEAD CONNECTION (Henry Holt, 2007).
CLOSE CASE (Henry Holt, 2005).
MISSING JUSTICE (Henry Holt, 2004).
JUDGMENT CALLS (Henry Holt, 2003).

Recent Courses Taught

Course Title Level
LAW 1710 CRIMINAL LAW Graduate
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Law School 0104D
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