Rappaport Wins AALS Criminal Justice Section Junior Scholar Award

Honors Paper on Criminal Justice Privatization

Professor John Rappaport
Professor John Rappaport

John Rappaport, Assistant Professor of Law, has been awarded the Criminal Justice Section Junior Scholar Award by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) for a paper examining the extent to which criminal justice can be privatized.

The award, hosted by the Criminal Justice Section of the AALS, is one of several organized around various academic disciplines and topics of interest. This year’s winners will be acknowledged during specific section programming at the 2018 AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego in January.

Rappaport’s paper, “Criminal Justice, Inc.”, explores a nationwide trend in which major retailers employ private, for-profit companies to settle criminal disputes on their behalf, documenting the ways in which the industry has reached new parts of the criminal process and examining what “retail justice” reveals about the public criminal justice system.

“I’m interested in the relationship between public and private forces in our criminal justice system and, in particular, what roles private actors might productively play,” Rappaport said. “The phenomenon I describe in the paper presents an unusually crisp and accessible case study for considering these complicated issues. I’m flattered and pleased that the selection committee found my treatment of the issues worthy of recognition.”

Rappaport, who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2006, 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. His research interests include criminal procedure and the criminal justice system.

Faculty awards