Jed Rakoff

  • Adjunct Professor of Law

Jed Rakoff has been an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School since 1988, and has served since 1996 as a federal district judge for the Southern District of New York. Judge Rakoff earned a B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1964, an M.Phil. from Oxford University in 1966, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1969.

After clerking for Judge Abraham L. Freedman on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, he was an associate at the Debevoise firm (1970-1972); a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (1973-1980), where he was chief of business and securities fraud prosecutions (1978-1980); and a "white-collar" criminal defense lawyer at two large New York firms, Mudge Rose (1980-1990) and Fried Frank (1990-1996). Since going on the bench in 1996, Rakoff has authored over 1500 judicial opinions, and has also frequently sat by designation on the 2nd, 3rd, and 9th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals. He has co-authored five books, written more than 140 published articles, delivered over 600 speeches, and is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books.

Rakoff is a Commissioner on the National Commission on Forensic Science and served as co-chair of the National Academy of Science's Committee on Eyewitness Identification. He serves on the executive committee of the New York City Bar Association, where he was chair of the nominating committee, the honors committee, and criminal law committee. He previously served on Swarthmore College's Board of Managers and on the Governance Board of the MacArthur Foundation's Law and Neuroscience Initiative. He has assisted the Departments of Commerce and State in the training of judges in Baghdad, Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, Istanbul, and Morocco. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Law Institute. He is a judicial fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers.