L. Song Richardson

L. Song Richardson


L. Song Richardson is the Dean and Chancellor's Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law with joint appointments in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society and in the Department of Asian American Studies. She received her AB from Harvard College and her JD from Yale Law School.

Dean Richardson is the second dean of UCI Law, and at the time of her appointment, was the only woman of color to lead a top 30 school. Under her leadership, UCI Law broke records and achieved unprecedented success, including becoming the only law school less than ten years old to achieve the rank of #21 by US News and World Report.

Her interdisciplinary research uses lessons from cognitive and social psychology to study decision-making and judgment in a variety of contexts. Her scholarship has been published by law journals at Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Cornell, Duke and Northwestern, among others. Her article, “Police Efficiency and the Fourth Amendment” was selected as a “Must Read” by the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. Her co-edited book, The Constitution and the Future of Criminal Justice in America, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013. She is a co-editor of Criminal Procedure, Cases and Materials published by West Academic Publishing. Currently, she is working on a book that examines the history of race in the U.S. and its implications for law and policy.

Her legal career has included partnership at a boutique criminal law firm and work as a state and federal public defender. She was also an Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Immediately upon graduation from law school, Dean Richardson was a Skadden Arps Public Interest Fellow with the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles and the Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Unit in Brooklyn, NY.

A leading expert on implicit racial and gender bias in a variety of contexts, including emerging technologies, Richardson is frequently invited to speak to judges, law firms, district attorney and public defender offices, police departments, universities, bar associations, and private industry across the world about the science of implicit bias and its influence on decisions, perceptions, and judgments. She has consulted with public and private entities seeking to develop practices to address racial and gender disparities within their organizations and practices. She is also a leading expert on race and policing, including numerous articles on police violence. She has worked with police departments seeking to understand and address the impact of race on their policing practices.

She has won numerous awards and recognitions, including the American Association of Law School’s Derrick Bell Award, which recognizes a faculty member’s extraordinary contributions to legal education through mentoring, teaching, and scholarship; the NAPABA Trailblazer Award; named one of the Top

Women Lawyers in California by The Daily Journal; and chosen as one of the two most influential Korean Americans in Orange County.

Dean Richardson is a member of the American Law Institute, the country’s leading independent organization made up of elected judges, academics, and practitioners, which publishes works to clarify and improve the law. She is also on the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools, an association whose goal is to uphold and advance excellence in legal education, including promoting the core values of excellence in teaching and scholarship, academic freedom, and diversity while seeking to improve the legal profession, to foster justice, and to serve local, national and international communities. She serves on the Board of Equal Justice Works. In 2020, she was appointed by Gov. Newsom to the CA Penal Code Revision Committee.