Current Officers

President June 2017 - June 2019

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Kim Lane Scheppele

Kim Lane Scheppele is the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University where, from 2005-2015, she served as the Director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs.  Scheppele joined the Princeton faculty after nearly a decade on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was the John J. O'Brien Professor of Comparative Law.   Before that, she held a primary academic appointment in political science at the University of Michigan, where she expanded the PhD track in public law.   She was the founding co-director of the Program on Gender and Culture at Central European University in Budapest and she has been a visiting law professor at Yale, Humboldt University Berlin, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Central European University Budapest and (in spring 2017) Harvard. 

Scheppele's scholarship focuses on law under stress and in times of rapid change.  After 1989, Scheppele studied the emergence of constitutional law in Hungary and Russia, living in both places for extended periods. After 9/11, Scheppele researched the effects of the global "war on terror" on constitutional governance around the world.   Since 2010, she has documented the return of constitutional authoritarianism to Eastern Europe and traced the consequent fracturing of legal culture across the European Union. 

Scheppele received the Kalven Prize of the Law and Society Association in 2014 for her work on transitional constitutionalism and on the global anti-terror campaign.  Her research has been supported by three American National Science Foundation grants for her own projects and seven for her graduate students’ research.   Scheppele is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the International Academy of Comparative Law.  She has been a visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the National Constitutional Center in Philadelphia, the Internationales Forchungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften in Vienna and the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California at Berkeley.  

The Law and Society Association has been her intellectual home since graduate school.  She has been the Association’s elected Treasurer (1999-2001), an elected member of the Board of Trustees (1990-1993), Co-Chair (with Carol Heimer) of the Program Committee for the Budapest meeting in 2001, a member of the program committee for the 1990 Amsterdam and 2000 Miami meetings, Co-organizer (with Tom Baker) of the Early Career Workshop in Denver 2009, Chair of the Kalven Prize Committee 2015, and a member of many other committees.   She edited a special issue of the Law and Society Review on Constitutional Ethnography in 2004 and served two terms on the editorial board of the Review.  Her many current and former PhD students are active in the Association. 

As president of the Association, she will embrace inclusion.  She will work toward greater diversity in the Association and greater internationalization of the field.  She will develop partnerships with other law-related associations across disciplines and national boundaries.    She will work to make the LSA a support center both for developing socio-legal studies programs and for training the next generation of socio-legal scholars.   And she will work to make scholars of all intellectual persuasions feel that LSA is home.

Past President June 2017 - June 2018

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Valerie P. Hans
I am Professor of Law at Cornell Law School, where I teach courses on social science and law, jury systems, and torts. I have a Ph.D. in Psychology with a minor in Law from the University of Toronto. During graduate school, I attended my first LSA meeting in 1978 in Minnesota, where the LSA’s multidisciplinary approach to law and society captured my interest immediately. As a social scientist now teaching in a law school, I’ve observed the different types of questions that emerge from law and social science, and I have come to appreciate how considering both perspectives strengthens our field.

My long-time participation as an active member of LSA has deeply influenced my scholarly work and my vision of the law and society enterprise. Multidisciplinary and international connections made through the LSA have enriched my research on juries and other forms of citizen participation in legal decision making. Author or editor of seven books and over one hundred research articles, I am currently studying recent adoptions of new jury-like systems in a number of countries worldwide. This work has been inspired by law and society colleagues in the East Asian Law and Society CRN and in the CRN I co-organize on Lay Participation in Legal Systems. In other work, two collections of essays I coedited, Crossing Boundaries: Traditions and Transformations in Law and Society Research (1998) and Everyday Practices and Trouble Cases (1998), were based on papers presented at the LSA Summer Training Institutes. In 2012, I was gratified to receive the Stan Wheeler Mentorship Award in recognition of my mentorship of law and society scholars.

I have regularly participated in LSA meetings and LSA committees and other activities over the years: serving as an officer (Secretary 1991-1993) and member of the Board of Trustees (1989-1991; 2009-2011), participating on the Program Committee a half dozen times (co-chair of the 2002 meeting), and serving on the Graduate Student Workshop (as chair in 1998), the Organizing Committee for the Summer Training Institutes (1993-1995), the Kalven Prize Committee (Chair, 2003-2004; 2009-2010), the 40th Anniversary Campaign (2003-2004), and the Stan Wheeler Mentorship Award Committee (2012-2013). Along with other colleagues, I’ve written grants for LSA to support the Summer Training Institutes and IRC initiatives. I also very much enjoyed dancing in the “Happy” flash mob at the LSA’s 50th Anniversary Party in Minneapolis.

The LSA is an astonishingly successful organization that has done so much to help develop and sustain the work of our students and early career colleagues, and to generate and support national and international sociolegal research networks. The Graduate Student Workshops, Summer Training Institutes, and CRN and IRC networks have been creative and effective approaches to building law and society. But we can do more! As top priorities, I would like to see us expand our training of the next generation of sociolegal scholars, and further strengthen our international connections among law and society researchers.

Secretary June 2017 - June 2018

Kaaryn Gustafson Chuck Epp is University Distinguished Professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration and the Department of African and African American Studies at the University of Kansas. He has a PhD in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his teaching and research focus on law, social change and administrative reform, with a particular emphasis on rights and racial discrimination. His research has been supported by multiple grants from the National Science Foundation, and he is the author of many journal articles and several books published by the University of Chicago Press: The Rights Revolution: Lawyers, Activists, and Supreme Courts in Comparative Perspective, which won the C. Herman Pritchett Award and the Lasting Contribution Award of the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association, Making Rights Real: Activists, Bureaucrats, and the Creation of the Legalistic State, which was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title, and Pulled Over: How Police Stops Define Race and Citizenship, co-authored with colleagues Steven Maynard-Moody and Donald Haider-Markel, which won the Best Book Award from the American Society for Public Administration’s Section on Public Administration Research, the Choice Outstanding Academic Title award, and received honorable mention for three other book awards, including the Law & Society Association’s Herbert Jacob Book Award. Epp has received a number of teaching awards, including the university-wide Kemper Teaching Award. He has served the Law & Society Association in a number of capacities: on the Dissertation Award Committee (2000, 2010, and as chair, 2012), Search Committee for the Law & Society Editor (2002), chair of the Nominations Committee (2005), Summer Institute Planning Committee (2005-07), Editorial Advisory Board of the Law & Society Review (2005-08), Diversity Committee (2007-09), Graduate Student Workshop Committee (2011), and on the Board of Trustees (2001-03 and 2013-15), Executive Committee (2013-15), and Executive Office Transition Committee (2015-16).  Beyond LSA, he has served as Director of the PhD Program in his department and on key committees of the American Political Science Association’s Section on Law & Courts, including the best article award, best dissertation award, and executive committee, and he is a founding associate editor of the Journal of Law & Courts. Epp is particularly committed to bringing Law & Society research to broader public discussions. In 2014 he was co-chair of the Kansas statewide committee of university faculty and staff that issued a report defending academic freedom in response to the Kansas Board of Regents Social Media Policy. He currently serves on the Douglas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee that is charged with reforming local criminal justice institutions and practices, and is a regular commentator in the national media on issues of racial discrimination in policing.

Treasurer October 2017 - October 2019

marshallMona Lynch is Professor and Chancellor’s Fellow in Criminology, Law and Society and, by courtesy, the School of Law at the University of California, Irvine. She co-directs UCI’s Center in Law, Society, and Culture with Catherine Fisk.  She received her Ph.D. and M.S. in social psychology from University of California, Santa Cruz, and an M.A. from Stanford University in documentary filmmaking. Her research has been supported by multiple grants from the National Science Foundation, and examines criminal adjudication and punishment, as well as institutionalized forms of bias within legal settings. She is the author of Sunbelt Justice: Arizona and the Transformation of American Punishment (2009), published with Stanford University Press and Hard Bargains: The Coercive Power of Drug Laws in Federal Court forthcoming with Russell Sage Foundation. Her research has also been published in a wide range of journals, law reviews, and edited volumes including in Law and Human Behavior, Law and Social Inquiry, Law and Society Review, and Law and Policy. She has served on the editorial boards of Law and Society Review (2003-06 and 2010-13) and Law and Social Inquiry (2002-04 and 2015-2017), among other journals. She is currently editor, with Kelly Hannah-Moffat, of the international journal, Punishment & Society. Mona has been an active member of LSA since 1995 and has enthusiastically served the Association in numerous roles. She was committee member (1998-2000) then chair (2000-02) of the Committee for Development and External Relations; program committee member for the 2000 Miami meeting; committee member (2002-03) then chair (2003-05) of the Summer Institute Committee; program planning committee member and associate chair for the international meeting in Berlin (2005-07); member of the Collaborative Research Networks Committee (2009-11); program committee co-chair (with Jeannine Bell) for the 2011 San Francisco meeting; member of the 2012 Wheeler prize committee; and chair of the 2016 Kalven prize committee. She served as a Trustee of the Association from 2003-06. She has also been involved in planning and organizing the past four biennial West Coast Law and Society retreats, and chaired the planning committee for the 2016 retreat held at UC Irvine. She was honored and humbled to receive LSA’s Stan Wheeler mentorship award in 2016.

Interim Executive Officer 2017 - 2018

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John Francis became interim executive director of the Law and Society Association (LSA) on September 1, 2017.  He agreed to do so while LSA is completing its search for a long-term executive officer.  Francis is currently Research Professor of Political Science at The University of Utah, where he has long been on the faculty. He served for a significant number of years as senior associate vice president for academic affairs with responsibilities that included undergraduate education, assessment, and international education. Francis received a BA in political science from Stanford University and a PhD in political science from the University of Michigan with coursework in economics. His research interests lie for the most part in comparative public policy, federalism, and occasionally British electoral politics. In recent years, Francis has published on regulatory questions relating to the black market in human organs, HIV/AIDS testing, human trafficking, public health surveillance, informed consent, and privacy as well as the British Conservative Party. His recent books include: David Cameron and Conservative Renewal: The limits of modernisation (coedited with Gillian Peele; Manchester, 2016) and Privacy: What Everyone Needs to Know (coauthored with Leslie P. Francis; Oxford, 2017). Much of his work is informed by an interdisciplinary perspective shaped by many years of publishing with his spouse, L.P. Francis, who is professor of law and philosophy at The University of Utah. His other activities include going to the opera whenever possible, most often at San Francisco and Glyndebourne, seeing at least twenty films at the annual Sundance Film Festival and many others during the year, and running “Bay to Breakers” every spring in San Francisco.