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Prescott, J.J.

Henry King Ransom Professor of Law
Co-director, Empirical Legal Studies Center
Co-director, Program in Law and Economics

3170 Jeffries Hall

J.J. Prescott's research interests revolve around criminal law, sentencing law and reform, employment law, and the dynamics of civil litigation, particularly settlement. Much of his work is empirical in focus. Current projects include an examination of the ramifications of post-release sex offender laws, a study of the socio-economic consequences of criminal record expungement, an evaluation of the effects of prosecutorial discretion and decision-making on short- and long-term defendant outcomes, and an investigation into the nature and repercussions of partial settlements in civil litigation. In addition, Professor Prescott is the principal investigator of the U-M Online Court Project, which uses technology to help people facing warrants, fines, and minor charges resolve their disputes with the government and courts online and without the need to hire an attorney. Professor Prescott earned his JD, magna cum laude, in 2002 from Harvard Law School, where he was the treasurer (Vol. 115) and an editor of the Harvard Law Review. After clerking for the Hon. Merrick B. Garland on the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, he went on to earn a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006.

See Professor Prescott's CV.

Recent Publications

More Publications...

"Expungement of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study." Sonja B. Starr, co-author. Harv. L. Rev. 133, no. 8 (2020): 2460-555.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | WWW | SSRN

"Understanding Violent-Crime Recidivism." Benjamin Pyle and Sonja B. Starr, co-authors. Notre Dame L. Rev. 95, no. 4 (2020): 1643-98.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | SSRN

"Are Litigation Outcome Disparities Inevitable? Courts, Technology, and the Future of Impartiality." Avital Mentovich and Orna Rabinovich-Einy, Ala. L. Rev. 73 no. 4 (2020): 893-979.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | SSRN

"Noncompete Agreements in the U.S. Labor Force." Evan Starr and Norman D. Bishara, co-authors. J. L. & Econ. (Forthcoming, 2020).
Full Text: SSRN

"The Behavioral Effects of (Unenforceable) Contracts." Co-authored by Norman D. Bishara and Evan Starr. J.L. & Econ. 36 (2020).
Full Text: Oxford Journals (UMich users) | Oxford Journals | SSRN

"Contracting on Litigation." Kathryn E. Spier, co-author. RAND J. Econ. 50, no. 2 (2019): 391-417.
Full Text: SSRN

"Identifying the Impact of Labor Market Opportunities on Criminal Behavior." Benjamin Pyle, co-author. Int'l Rev. L. & Econ. 59 (2019): 65-81.
Full Text: ScienceDirect (UMich users) | ScienceDirect

"Targeting Poverty in the Courts: Improving the Measurement of Ability to Pay Fines." Meghan M. O'Neil, co-author. Law & Contemp. Probs. 82, no. 1 (2019): 199-226.
Full Text: SSRN | MLaw Repository

"Assessing Access-to-Justice Outreach Strategies." J. Institutional & Theoretical Econ. 174, no. 1 (2018): 34-63.
Full Text: SSRN | MLaw Repository

"Fourth Amendment Constraints on the Technological Monitoring of Convicted Sex Offenders." Ben A. McJunkin, co-author. New Crim. L. Rev. 21, no. 3 (2018): 379-425.
Full Text: SSRN | MLaw Repository

"Improving Access to Justice in State Courts with Platform Technology." Vand. L. Rev. 70 (2017): 1993-2050.
Full Text: SSRN | MLaw Repository

"A Comprehensive Theory of Civil Settlement." K. E. Spier, co-author. NYU L. Rev. 91, no. 1 (2016): 59-143.
Full Text: SSRN | MLaw Repository

"Portmanteau Ascendant: Post-Release Regulations and Sex Offender Recidivism." Conn. L. Rev. 48, no. 4 (2016): 1035-78.
Full Text: SSRN | MLaw Repository

"Online Case Resolution Systems: Enhancing Access, Fairness, Accuracy, and Efficiency." M. A. Bulinski, co-author. Mich. J. Race & L. 21, no. 2 (2016): 205-49.
Full Text: SSRN | MLaw Repository

"Understanding Noncompetition Agreements: The 2014 Noncompete Survey Project." N. D. Bishara and E. Starr, co-authors. Mich. St. L. Rev. 2016, no. 2 (2016): 369-464.
Full Text: SSRN | MLaw Repository


Testified before Michigan Senate’s Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, on proposed Clean Slate (expungement) legislation, Lansing, Michigan, June 2020.

Testified before Michigan House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee, on proposed reforms to Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws, Lansing, Michigan, May 2020.

Presented "Gigs & Regs: Platform Choices for Competitive & Fair Labor Markets" at The Choice Redux: Market, Organization, Democracy, Algorithm or Community? Conference, at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Ann Arbor, Michigan, December 2019.

Presented "Expungement of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study" at the Empirical Legal Studies Conference at Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, California, November 2019.

Presented "Understanding Violent-Crime Recidivism" at Notre Dame Law Review Symposium at Notre Dame Law School, South Bend, Indiana, November 2019.

​Presented "Expungement in Michigan" at the Detroit Police’s Committee on Race and Equality Meeting at the Detroit Police Department, Detroit Michigan, October 2019.

Presented "Is Judicial Bias Inevitable? Courts, Technology, and the Future of Impartiality" at the Courts Workshop at Columbia Law School, New York, New York, May 2019.

Presented "Expungement of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study" at the Law and Economics Workshop at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Los Angeles, California, April 2019.

Presented Book Discussant on David Halperin and Trevor Hope, "The War on Sex" at the University of Michigan Institute for Research on Women & Gender, Ann Arbor, Michigan, March 2019.

Presented "Noncompetes and Employee Mobility" at the Law and Economics Workshop, at the University of British Columbia Allard School of Law, Vancouver, British Colombia, March, 2019.