Erica Zunkel

Erica Zunkel

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

Erica Zunkel is a 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

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 with distinction in all subjects, American studies , May 1999

  • Associate managing editor, Cornell Daily Sun

Experience

The University of Chicago Law School, Federal Criminal Justice Clinic

Clinical Professor of Law, July 2021
Associate Director, January 2016-present
Associate Clinical Professor of Law, July 2018-June 2021
Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, January 2016-June 2018
Acting Associate Director, December 2014–January 2016
Clinical Instructor, July 2013–January 2016
Fellow & 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

Judicial Clerk, September 2004–September 2005

Contra Costa County Public Defender

Graduate Law Clerk, September 2003–June 2004

Journal Articles

  • "Rethinking Federal Bail Advocacy to Change the Culture of Detention," July 2020 The Champion 46 (2020) (with Alison Siegler). ssrn www
  • "The Federal Judiciary’s Role in Drug Law Reform in an Era of Congressional Dysfunction," 18 Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 238 (2020) (with Alison Siegler). www
  • "18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)'s Undervalued Sentencing Command: Providing a Federal Criminal Defendant with Rehabilitation, Training, and Treatment in"“the Most Effective Manner"," 9 Notre Dame Journal of International & Comparative Law 49 (2019). cu

Other Publications

  • "Don’t Let Chicago’s Federal Jail Become the Next Coronavirus Hot Spot," Chicago Tribune, April 24, 2020 (with Alison Siegler). www
  • "We’ve Made Progress With Criminal Justice Reform. This Trump Pick Could Undo It All," Fortune, March 15, 2018. www
  • "Illinois and Chicago Treat Small Businesses Like They're a Problem," Chicago Sun-Times, August 24, 2013, at p. Commentary.
  • Presenter, Panel on Drug Policy Empirical Research and Sentencing Reform, The Controlled Substances Act at 50 Years, ASU Academy for Justice, Feb. 2020 (with Stephanie Didwania, Jelani Jefferson Exum, and Jonathan Wroblewski)
  • Presenter, Expanding Advocacy for Pretrial Release, Puerto Rico Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Training, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Nov. 2019
  • Presenter, Busting Bond Myths and Winning Pretrial Release, Kansas Federal Defender & CJA Seminar, Lawrence, Kansas, Oct. 2019
  • Presenter, Busting Bond Myths and Winning Pretrial Release, Chicago, IL, Jan. 2019 (with Alison Siegler, Keri Coble, and Katie Kokkas)
  • Presenter, Collaborative Litigation Strategies: Fighting for Collective Change through Individual Defense, American Association of Law Schools Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Chicago, IL, May 2018 (with Fiona Doherty, Jenny Roberts, and Alison Siegler)
  • Panelist & Presenter, The International Human Right to a Healthy Environment (Prison Environment), Notre Dame Journal of
  • International & Comparative Law 2018 Symposium, South Bend, IN, February 2018 (with Professor Juan Méndez)
  • Presenter, Demonstrative Evidence, University of Chicago Law School Intensive Trial Practice Workshop, Chicago, IL, September 2017
  • Presenter, Fueling Academic Writing with Social Justice Advocacy, American Association of Law Schools Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Denver, CO, May 2017 (with Christopher Lasch, Alison Siegler, and Katie Tinto)
  • Presenter, Demonstrative Evidence, University of Chicago Law School Intensive Trial Practice Workshop, Chicago, IL, September 2016
  • Presenter, Demonstrative Evidence, National Criminal Defense College, Macon, GA, June 2016 (with Jerilyn Bell)
  • Presenter, Out of the Ivory Tower and into the Community! Academic Writing for Social Justice, American Association of Law Schools Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Baltimore, MD, May 2016 (with Christopher Lasch, Robin Walker Sterling, and Katie Tinto)
  • Presenter, Works in Progress, Fighting Fire with Kimbrough: The Federal Judiciary’s Rule in Drug Law Reform, American Association of Law Schools Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Baltimore, MD, May 2016
  • Presenter, Litigating Drug Cases in an Era of Federal Reform, Defender Services Winning Strategies Seminar, San Antonio, TX, January 2016
  • Commentary, Right on Crime, University of Chicago Law School Federalist Society, Chicago, IL, October 2015
  • Presenter, Litigating Drug Cases in an Era of Federal Reform, CJA Seminar, Rockford, IL, June 2015
  • Presenter, Defenses in Stash House Sting Cases, Defender Services Winning Strategies Seminar, Santa Fe, NM, May 2015 (with Shaffy Moeel)
  • Panelist, The Ethics of Representing Clients with Diminished Capacity and Mental Health Challenges, 7th Circuit Bar Association Ethics CLE, Chicago, IL, June 2015 (with Judge Nan Nolan, Judge Mary Catherine Marubio, and Theresa Gronkiewicz)
  • Presenter, 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, Rancho Mirage, CA, May 2015 (with Christopher Lasch, Alison Siegler, Robin Walker Sterling, and Katie Tinto)
  • Panelist, 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)
  • Panelist, Serial Dissected, University of Chicago Law School, Panel Discussion, January 2015 (with David Weisman, Tara Thompson, and David Owens)
  • Presenter, The Art of Sentencing Mitigation in Federal Court, Chicago Bar Association Sentencing Seminar, Chicago, IL, June 2014
  • Presenter, Federal Sentencing Advocacy in 2012, CJA Seminar, Plymouth, IN, December 2012
  • Presenter, Crawford and Confrontation: How to Make Them Work for You, CJA Seminar, Rockford, IL, June 2012
  • Presenter, Defense Strategies for Litigating Confrontation Clause Issues after Michigan v. Bryant, Federal Bar Association Criminal Practice Seminar, Chicago, IL, May 2012
  • Presenter, Litigating Illegal Reentry Cases in the Seventh Circuit, CJA/Federal Defender Training, Chicago, IL, April 2012

Memberships and Professional Affiliations

  • Admitted: Illinois Bar, California Bar, United States Supreme Court, Seventh Circuit of Appeals, United States District Court – Northern District of Illinois General and Trial Bars, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, United States District Court – Southern District of California
  • Member: CJA Panel – Northern District of Illinois, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • Board Member (2017-2020): Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys