Anna Offit

Full-time faculty

Assistant Professor of Law

Phone: 214-768-2580

Email: aoffit@smu.edu

Biography

Anna Offit is a legal scholar and cultural anthropologist with broad interests in prosecutorial ethics, the U.S. jury system, comparative law, and law and society. Her current research is on lay participation in the U.S. legal system. She teaches criminal law, evidence, and a research seminar on criminal jury reform.

Offit’s work has been published is or forthcoming in the Northwestern University Law Review, the Fordham Law Review, the Ohio State Law Journal, the UC Irvine Law Review, and the Political and Legal Anthropology Review among other law review and peer-reviewed journals. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S.-Norway Fulbright Foundation, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, and the Lois Roth Foundation.

Offit is a graduate of Princeton University’s Anthropology PhD program, and received her JD from the Georgetown University Law Center where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics and as a law clerk at the Department of Justice’s Office for Civil Rights.

Prior to joining the faculty at SMU Dedman School of Law, Offit served as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at NYU Law School’s Civil Jury Project. She was also the recipient of a Fulbright grant to study the abolition of Norway’s jury system, and a Graduate Prize Fellowship from the Princeton University Center for Human Values.

Offit is an active member of the Law & Society Association and the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology.

Areas of Expertise

  • Criminal Law
  • Evidence
  • Legal Ethics

Education

A.B., Princeton University (2008)
J.D., Georgetown University (2012)
M.Phil., University of Cambridge (2009)
Ph.D., Princeton University (2018)

Courses

Advanced Criminal Law:  Reforming the
   Criminal Jury
Criminal Law
Evidence

Articles

Race Conscious Jury Selection, 82 Ohio State Law Journal 1 (2021)
Full-text:  SSRN|SMU Repository

Utfordringer ved komparative juryundersøkelser: Tilfellet Norge, Tidsskrift for strafferett (2019). [The Challenges of Comparative Jury Research: The Norwegian Case, Journal of Criminal Justice]
Full-text:  SSRN | SMU Repository

Prosecuting in the Shadow of the Jury, 113 Northwestern University Law Review 1071 (2019)
Full-text:  SSRN | SMU Repository

The Jury is Out:  An Ethnographic Study of Lay Participation in the Norwegian Legal System, Political and Legal Anthropology Review (2019)
Full-Text:  SSRN | SMU Repository

Review Essay:  Giving Life to the Death Penalty, Political and Legal Anthropology Review (2018)
Full-text:  SSRN | SMU Repository

With Jurors in Mind:  An Ethnographic Study of Prosecutors' Narratives, Law, Culture and the Humanities Journal (2017)
Full-text:  SSRN | SMU Repository

Peer Review:  Navigating Uncertainty in the United States Jury System, 6 U.C. Irvine Law Review 169 (2016)
Full-text:  SSRN | SMU Repository

The Conscience and Culture of Prosecution:  An Introduction, 25 Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 4 (2012)
Full-text:  SSRN | SMU Repository

Ethical Guidance for a Grander Jury, 24 Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 761 (2011)
Full-text:  SSRN | SMU Repository

 

Book Chapters

Storied Justice: The Narrative Strategies of US Federal Prosecutors, (Fleetwood, J., Presser, L., Sandberg, S. and Ugelvik, T. (Eds.), in The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology, 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 45-62

Trial Processes, in INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ANTHROPOLOGY (2018)

Other Publications

Book Review:  The Humanities and Public Life.  By Peter Brooks (ed.) with Hilary Jewett., 48 Law & Society Review 991 (2014)

REPORT ON SEXUAL VICTIMIZATION IN PRISONS AND JAILS, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC (2012) (Contributing Law Clerk)

  

 

Media

Technology Can’t Replace In-Person Jury Trials, but It May Help During a Pandemic (Op Ed), Inside Sources (June 12, 2020)

It's time to build a pandemic-proof, juror-friendly trial (Op Ed), The Hill (May 15, 2020)

Guyger trial demonstrates power of juries. Here’s how we can make them even stronger (Op Ed), Fort Worth Star-Telegram (October 4, 2019)

Review:  Steven Brill on the History of Arbitration Clauses, 3 Jury Matters 6 (2018)

Injustice Behind Closed Doors:  Civil Juries and the #MeToo Movement, 3 Jury Matters 3 (2018)

The Long Shadow of the Civil Jury Trial, 3 Jury Matters 2 (2018)

Letter to the Editor:  The Jury's Duty When the Law Is Unfair, New York Times (December 22, 2011)