Erica Zunkel
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Erica Zunkel

Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, Associate Director of the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic

Erica Zunkel is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and the Associate Director of the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic. Prior to joining the Law School, Ms. Zunkel was a trial attorney at the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. for over six years. At Federal Defenders, she represented indigent defendants accused of federal felony offenses from arraignment through appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Zunkel graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University, where she received her BA in American studies. She received her JD from the University of California-Berkeley School of Law. At Berkeley, she participated in the East Bay Community Law Center Clinic and the Death Penalty Clinic. After law school, Ms. Zunkel clerked for Federal District Judge Martha Vázquez in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

EDUCATION

University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)
JD, May 2003 

  • Berkeley Law Foundation Grant Recipient
  • Pride Law Fund Grant Recipient
  • 2003 National Association of Women Lawyers Honoree
  • Prosser Prizes – Community Law Practice, Death Penalty Seminar
  • Projects editor, California Law Review
  • Co-projects editor, Berkeley Women’s Law Journal
  • Co-director, East Bay Community Law Center HIV/Homeless Clinical Outreach Program
  • Student board member, East Bay Community Law Center

Cornell University College of Arts & Sciences
BA, summa cum laude in American studies with distinction in all subjects, May 1999

  • Dean’s List
  • Golden Key National Honor Society
  • Associate managing editor, Cornell Daily Sun

EXPERIENCE

The University of Chicago Law School, Federal Criminal Justice Clinic          
Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic, January 2016-present
Acting Associate Director, December 2014–January 2016
Clinical Instructor, July 2013–January 2016

  • Supervise second and third-year law students in all aspects of representing indigent criminal defendants in district court and the Seventh Circuit
  • Draft, review, and edit legal briefs and motions
  • Teach intensive seminar on federal criminal law and federal criminal practice
  • Conduct trainings and seminars for federal criminal defense community

Fellow and Lecturer in Law, March 2012-July 2013

Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc.
Trial Attorney, October 2005-February 2012

Chambers of the Honorable Martha Vázquez, United States District Court Santa Fe, NM    
Judicial Clerk, September 2004-September 2005

Contra Costa County Public Defender Martinez, CA
Graduate Law Clerk, September 2003-June 2004

Berkeley Law Death Penalty Clinic Berkeley, CA
Clinical Student, January 2001-May 2003

Public Defender Service Washington, D.C.
Law Clerk, July 2002-August 2002

East Bay Community Law Center Berkeley, CA
Clinical Student, August 2001-December 2001

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children San Francisco, CA
Law Clerk, June 2001-August 2001

Public Defender Service Washington, D.C.
Intern-Investigator, September 1997-December 1997

Other Publications

  • "Illinois and Chicago Treat Small Businesses Like They're a Problem," Chicago Sun-Times, August 24, 2013, at p. Commentary.

"Demonstrative Evidence," National Criminal Defense College, June 2016 (with Jerilyn Bell)

"Out of the Ivory Tower and into the Community! Academic Writing for Social Justice," American Association of Law Schools Conference on Clinical Legal Education, May 2016 (with Christopher Lasch, Robin Walker Sterling, and Katie Tinto)

"Fighting Fire with Kimbrough: The Federal Judiciary’s Rule in Drug Law Reform," American Association of Law Schools Conference on Clinical Legal Education, May 2016

"Litigating Drug Cases in an Era of Federal Reform," Defender Services Winning Strategies Seminar, January 2016

"Litigating Drug Cases in an Era of Federal Reform," CJA Seminar, June 2015

"Defenses in Stash House Sting Cases," Defender Services Winning Strategies Seminar, May 2015 (with Shaffy Moeel)

"The Ethics of Representing Clients with Diminished Capacity and Mental Health Challenges," 7th Circuit Bar Association Ethics CLE, June 2015 (with Judge Nan Nolan, Judge Mary Catherine Marubio, and Theresa Gronkiewicz)

"From the Ivory Tower to the Courtroom: Academic Writing for Social Justice in the New Normal," American Association of Law Schools Conference on Clinical Legal Education, May 2015 (with Christopher Lasch, Alison Siegler, Robin Walker Sterling, and Katie Tinto)

"Legal Talk Network’s Lawyer 2 Lawyer Podcast: Breaking Down the Serial Podcast: Attorneys Dissect Adnan Syed’s Case," February 2015 (with Professor Deirdre Enright and Marcus Kypreos)

"Serial Dissected," University of Chicago Law School, Panel Discussion, January 2015 (with David Weisman, Tara Thompson, and David Owens)

"The Art of Sentencing Mitigation in Federal Court," Chicago Bar Association Sentencing Seminar, June 2014

"Federal Sentencing Advocacy in 2012," Northern District of Indiana CJA Seminar, December 2012

"Crawford and Confrontation: How to Make Them Work for You," CJA Seminar, June 2012

"Defense Strategies for Litigating Confrontation Clause Issues After Michigan v. Bryant," Federal Bar Association Criminal Practice Seminar, May 2012

"Litigating Illegal Reentry Cases in the Seventh Circuit," CJA/Federal Defender Training, April 2012

MEMBERSHIPS AND PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • Bar admissions, Illinois, California, United States Supreme Court, California Supreme Court, Illinois Supreme Court, Seventh Circuit of Appeals, Northern District of Illinois General and Trial Bars, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Southern District of California
  • CJA Panel – Northern District of Illinois, Seventh Circuit Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys