John Rappaport

John Rappaport

Professor of Law

John Rappaport teaches and writes about criminal law, criminal procedure, and the criminal justice system. Most of his current research concerns American law enforcement, with topics including collective bargaining, unionization, and the labor market for law enforcement officers.

John graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2006. He clerked for Judges Stephen Reinhardt and Paul Watford of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the US Supreme Court. He also practiced in the Capital Habeas Unit of the Los Angeles Federal Public Defender’s office and as a litigator at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP. He studied mathematics as an undergraduate, earning his degree with distinction from Stanford University. Before joining the faculty, John taught at the Law School as a Bigelow Fellow and Lecturer in Law.


Harvard Law School

JD, magna cum laudeJune 2006

Stanford University

BS in mathematics with distinction, June 2002


The University of Chicago Law School

Professor of Law, 2020-present
Ludwig and Hilde Wolf Research Scholar, 2019-2021
Assistant Professor of Law, 2015-2020
Harry A. Bigelow Teaching Fellow & Lecturer in Law, 2013-2015

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, San Francisco, CA

Law clerk, the Honorable Paul J. Watford, January-June 2013
Law clerk, the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt, 2006-2007

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, Los Angeles, CA

Litigation Associate, 2010-2012

Supreme Court of the United States

Law clerk, the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 2009-2010

Office of the Federal Public Defender, Los Angeles, CA

Deputy Federal Public Defender, Capital Habeas Unit, 2007-2009

American Civil Liberties Union, New York, NY

National Legal Department, Legal Intern, 2005

ACLU of Michigan, Detroit, MI

Legal Intern, 2004

US Department of Justice, Washington, DC

Civil Rights Division, Educational Opportunities Section, Legal Intern, 2004

Journal Articles

  • "Private Security and Public Police," 21 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies __ (2024) (forthcoming) (with Ben Grunwald).
  • "Labor Mobility and the Problems of Modern Policing," 99 New York University Law Review 128 (2024) (with Jonathan S. Masur & Aurelie Ouss). www
  • "Police Agencies on Facebook Overreport on Black Suspects," 119 Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences of the United States Of America 1 (2022) (with Ben Grunwald & Julian Nyarko ). www
  • "Collective Bargaining Rights and Police Misconduct: Evidence from Florida," 38 Journal of Law, Economics and Organization 1 (2022) (with Dhammika Dharmapala & Richard H. McAdams ). ssrn www
  • "This Violent City? Urban Violence in Chicago and Beyond," 89 University of Chicago Law Review 303 (2022) (with Aziz Z. Huq) (symposium introduction).
  • "Some Doubts About "Democratizing" Criminal Justice," 87 University of Chicago Law Review 711 (2020). ssrn www
  • "The Wandering Officer," 129 Yale Law Journal 1676 (2020) (with Ben Grunwald). ssrn www
  • "Is Police Behavior Getting Worse? Data Selection and the Measurement of Policing Harms," 49 Journal of Legal Studies 153 (2020) (with Aurelie Ouss). ssrn www
  • "Criminal Justice, Inc.," 118 Columbia Law Review 2251 (2018). ssrn cu www
  • "The Structural Function of the Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel of Choice," 2017 Supreme Court Review 117 (2017). ssrn cu www
  • "How Private Insurers Regulate Public Police," 130 Harvard Law Review 1539 (2017). ssrn cu
  • "An Insurance-Based Typology of Police Misconduct," 2016 University of Chicago Legal Forum 369 (2016). ssrn cu
  • "Second-Order Regulation of Law Enforcement," 103 California Law Review 205 (2015). ssrn cu
  • "Unbundling Criminal Trial Rights," 82 University of Chicago Law Review 181 (2015). ssrn cu

Other Publications

  • "The Future of Police Liability," The Hill, March 28, 2021. www
  • "It Will Take More Than the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to Fix Our Broken System," Washington Post, February 5, 2021 (with Ben Grunwald). www
  • "Collective Bargaining and Police Misconduct: Evidence from Florida," CATO Institute Research Briefs in Economic Policy, July 10, 2019 (with Dhammika Dharmapala & Richard H. McAdams ). www
  • "Jeff Sessions Is Scapegoating the ACLU for Chicago’s Murder Rate Spike," Slate, May 11, 2018. www
  • "Cops Can Ignore Black Lives Matter Protesters. They Can’t Ignore Their Insurers," Washington Post, May 4, 2016. www
  • "Does the Path to True Police Reform Run Through Liability Insurers?," Washington Post, April 11, 2016. www
  • "How Private Insurers Regulate Public Police," CLS Blue Sky Blog, March 3, 2016. www
  • "How the Insurance Industry Could Reform American Policing," Washington Post, March 1, 2016. www
  • Criminal Law and the American Penal System (Aspen Publishing, forthcoming) (with Andrew M. Crespo).

Institutional Service

  • Appointments Committee, 2018-2019, 2021-2022
  • Bigelow Fellowship Program Co-Director, 2019-2021
  • Clerkship Committee, Co-Chair, 2023-2024; Member, 2015-2019
  • Levi Distinguished Visiting Jurists Program Co-Organizer, 2019-2024
  • Public Law Workshop Co-Organizer, 2015-2022, 2023-2024
  • University of Chicago Law Review Symposium Faculty Co-Organizer, 2019-2021
  • Board of the Library of the University of Chicago, 2020-2022
  • University of Chicago Police Department Independent Review Commission Chair, 2022-2024

Professional Activities & Affiliations

  • Chair, National Police Early Intervention and Outcomes Research Consortium
  • Referee: Journal of Legal Studies, Journal of Experimental Criminology, Law and Social Inquiry, Israel Science Foundation, Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center (Tel Aviv University)
  • Member of California and various federal bars