James S. Liebman

Simon H. Rifkind Professor of Law

Office: Jerome Greene Hall, Rm. 906
Mailbox B-16
New York NY 10027
Tel: 212-854-3423
Fax: 212-854-7946
Email: jliebman@law.columbia.edu

Assistant Info

Name: Tatyana Gourov
Phone: 212-854-8246
Email: tgouro@law.columbia.edu

Courses/Current Research

  • Criminal Law
  • Evidence
  • Ethics
  • Habeas corpus
  • Dealth penalty
  • Equality and equal protection
  • Public interest advocacy
  • Education and the law


  • Stanford Law School, J.D., 1977
  • Yale College, B.A., 1974

Media Contact:

Detailed Biography:

James S. Liebman, Simon H. Rifkind Professor of Law, Columbia University School of Law. B.A., Yale, 1974; J.D., Stanford, 1977.Law clerk to Judge Carl McGowan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1977-78, and Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. States Supreme Court, 1978-79. Assistant Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, 1979-85. Joined the Columbia faculty in 1985. Vice Dean, 1991-92; Chief Accountability Officer for the New York City Department of Education, 2006-09 (on partial leave from Columbia). Coauthor, Federal Habeas Corpus Practice & Procedure; A Modern Approach to Evidence; A Broken System: Error Rates in Capital Cases, 1973-1995 (2000); A Broken System, Part II: Why There Is So Much Error in Capital Cases and What Can Be Done About It (2002); and Los Tocayos Carlos (2012). Author of numerous articles on the death penalty, federal habeas corpus, equal protection, evidence, and public education reform. Argued several habeas corpus and death penalty appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court. Principal areas of interest and teaching are criminal law, the death penalty, evidence, habeas corpus, and public-sector structural reform particularly in K-12 education. 2009 Government Technology Magazine and Center for Digital Government Award for Overall Excellence in Technology, 2002 Law & Society Association Article Prize, 2002 National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Champion of Justice Award; 2000 Soros Senior Justice Fellow.