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Starr, Sonja B.

Professor of Law
Empirical Legal Studies Center, codirector

3230 South Hall
734.764.9346
E-mail sbstarr@umich.edu
Sonja B. Starr joined the Law School faculty in fall 2009 and teaches first-year criminal law, international criminal law, and a seminar on the collateral consequences of criminal convictions. Her research interests include prosecutorial conduct, sentencing law and policy, remedies for violations of criminal defendants' rights, and re-entry of ex-offenders. Her research methods include quantitative empirical assessment of the effects of criminal justice policies as well as analysis of legal theory and doctrine. Before coming to Michigan Law, Prof. Starr taught at the University of Maryland School of Law and spent two years at Harvard Law School as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law. Prof. Starr has clerked for Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Judge Mohamed Shahabuddeen of the shared Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Between these clerkships, she was an associate with Goldstein & Howe, PC, in Washington, D.C., a firm specializing in U.S. Supreme Court litigation. Prof. Starr earned her JD from Yale Law School, where she served as senior editor of the Yale Law Journal and was awarded the American Bar Association's annual Ross Student Writing Prize. She received her AB from Harvard, summa cum laude, and is also an alumna of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research Summer Program in Quantitative Methods.

Recent Publications

More Publications...


Co-author. "Racial Disparity in Federal Criminal Sentences." M. M. Rehavi, co-author. J. Pol. Econ. (Forthcoming).​
Full Text: SSRN

"Estimating Gender Disparities in Federal Criminal Cases." Am. L. & Econ. Rev. (Forthcoming).​
Full Text: MLaw Repository | SSRN

"Evidence-Based Sentencing and the Scientific Rationalization of Discrimination." Stan. L. Rev. 66, no. 4 (2014): 803-72.
Full Text: WWW

​"On the Role of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Criminal Justice Policy: A Response to The Imprisoner's Dilemma." Iowa L. Rev. Bull. 98 (2013): 97-111.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN​​​

​Co-author. "On Estimating Disparity and Inferring Causation: Sur-Reply to the U.S. Sentencing Commission Staff." M. M. Rehavi, co-author. Yale L. J. Online 123 (2013): 273-95.​​
Full Text: WWW

Co-author. "Mandatory Sentencing and Racial Disparity, Assessing the Role of Prosecutors and the Effects of Booker." M. M. Rehavi, co-author. Yale L. J. 123, no. 1 (2013): 2-80.
Full Text: Lexis | Westlaw | WWW

"Did Booker Increase Sentencing Disparity?" Fed. Sent. R. 25, no. 5 (2013): 323-6.
Full Text: Lexis | JSTOR (UMich users) | JSTOR

"The Right to an Effective Remedy: Balancing Realism and Aspiration." In International Human Rights Law: Six Decades after the UDHR and Beyond, edited by M. A. Baderin and M. Ssenyonjo, 477-98. Farnham, England: Ashgate, 2010.

"Sentence Reduction as a Remedy for Prosecutorial Misconduct." Geo. L. J. 97, no. 6 (2009): 1509-66.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Westlaw

"Ensuring Defense Counsel Competence at International Criminal Tribunals." UCLA J. Int'l L. Foreign Aff. 14, no. 1 (2009): 169-206.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Westlaw
Professor

Activities

Speaker, "Gender Disparities in Federal Criminal Cases," Harvard Law & Economics Workshop, September 2013.

Erasmus Mundus Visiting Scholar in Law & Economics, Aix-Marseille University, France, August 2013.

Speaker ("Plea Bargaining") and panel moderator ("Year in Review"), National Sentencing Guidelines Seminar, Orlando, FL, May 2013.

Speaker, "Estimating Gender Disparity in Federal Criminal Cases," Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, November 2012.

Speaker, "Racial and Demographic Disparity in Sentencing," National Sentencing Policy Institute, Memphis, TN, October 2012.

Panelist, "The Color of Justice: Racial Disparity in the Criminal Process," Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Maui, August 2012.

"Racial Disparity in Federal Criminal Charging and Its Sentencing Consequences," National Bureau of Economic Research Summer Institute, Joint Session of the Crime and Labor Studies Working Groups (coauthor, with M. Marit Rehavi), July 2012.

Speaker, "Racial Disparity in Federal Criminal Charging and Its Sentencing Consequences," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meeting, May 2012.

Panelist, "Racial Disparity in Federal Criminal Charging," American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, November 2011.

Speaker, "Racial Disparity in Federal Criminal Charging," Duke Legal Theory Colloquium, November 2011.

Discussant and panel chair, Conference on Empirical Legal Studies, November 2011.

 
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