Photo: Maryam Ahranjani

Maryam Ahranjani

      Associate Professor of Law
    • Don L. & Mabel F. Dickason Professor

    Education

    • LLM, University of Pennsylvania Law School
    • JD, American University Washington College of Law
    • BSEd (magna cum laude in Social Policy), Northwestern University
    • Member, District of Columbia Bar

    Contact Information

     Ph.: 505-277-2113
     Office: 3238
     

    Profile

    Professor Maryam Ahranjani teaches in the areas of constitutional, criminal and education law. She serves as the advisor or co-advisor to the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, Immigration Law Student Association, Law Students for Equity & Inclusion, and Moms of Law. Professor Ahranjani currently serves as the Reporter of the ABA Women in Criminal Justice Task Force, an executive committee member of the AALS Section on Education Law, and an appointed member of the ABA Standing Committee on Public Education.

    An internationally-recognized expert on education law, Professor Ahranjani has authored numerous book chapters, law review articles, and other articles. Co-author of the textbook Youth Justice in America (2nd ed. 2014), her work has appeared in The Journal of College and University Law, Hofstra Law Review, South Carolina Law Review, Denver University Law Review, American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, and The Washington Post.

    Her most recent publications include School “Safety” Measures Jump Constitutional Guardrails (Seattle University Law Review) and “Toughen Up, Buttercup” vs. #TimesUp: Initial Findings of the ABA Women in Criminal Justice Task Force (Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law). She is currently working on a chapter exploring the purposes of education in our constitutional democracy for a forthcoming Bloomsbury Press book.

    For her “commitment to excellent teaching, community engagement and innovative pedagogy,” Professor Ahranjani was named the 2019-2020 UNM New Teacher of the Year. In 2020, she received the prestigious Raeder-Taslitz Award from the ABA for a law professor who “exemplifies ethical and professional conduct; demonstrates excellence in scholarship, teaching or community service; and has made a significant contribution to promoting public understanding of criminal justice, justice and fairness in the criminal justice system, or best practices on the part of lawyers and judges.” In 2019, Professor Ahranjani received the Steven S. Goldberg Award for Distinguished Scholarship from the Education Law Association for her article The Prisonization of America’s Public Schools, which they deemed "a work of scholarly excellence that has an impact on education law.”

    In recognition of her scholarship, teaching and service at the law school, Professor Ahranjani holds the Don L. & Mabel F. Dickason Professorship for a three-year term (2019-2022). 

    Prior to joining the law school faculty, Professor Ahranjani served as an international legal consultant in Guatemala City. She worked for the ABA Rule of Law Initiative, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Agency for International Development on rule of law projects related to civic education, human rights and youth migration. She also previously taught and worked at American University Washington College of Law (directing the National Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project and the Program on Law and Government), the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and several law schools in Latin America.

    In the News

    Courses

    Constitutional Rights

    This course involves an in-depth inquiry into the building blocks of civil rights law; freedom of expression (speech and press), equal protection, due process, and religious freedom. There will be discussion of litigation strategy and the decision-making processes of the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Criminal Law I

    This course considers the general principles of substantive criminal law and evaluates them in terms of the various purposes that justify a system of criminal punishment. It will include an analysis of the doctrines of mens rea attempt, complicity, and conspiracy as well as certain crimes such as homicide and certain defenses such as self-defense.

    See Professor for course description.

    See Professor for course description.

    Practicum

    The Practicum Course is not really a separate course; rather, it is a hands-on, practice-based extension of the Torts, Contracts, and Criminal Law courses. Students explore the theoretical connections among the three courses in the context of resolving simulated but realistic client problems. The course stresses practical and analytical skills through writing exercises while also exploring substantive law questions that are addressed in other first semester courses.

    Publications

    Books & Book Chapters

    Youth Justice in America (2014) (co-authored with Andrew G. Ferguson and Jamin B. Raskin).
    Available at: UNM-DR

    High School to Law School: Marshall-Brennan and Moot Court, The Education Pipeline to the Professions: Programs that Work to Increase Diversity (Sarah E. Redfield ed. 2012).
    Available at: UNM-DR

    The Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project: A Case Study in Law and Social Justice, Childhood, Youth, and Social Work in Transformation: Implications for Policy and Practice (Lynn M. Nybell et al. ed. 2009).
    Available at: UNM-DR

    Articles

    Toughen Up, Buttercup" versus #TimesUp: Initial Findings of the ABA Women in Criminal Justice Task Force, 25 J. BERLELEY J. CRIM. L. 99 (2020).
    Available at: UNM-DR

    School "Safety" Measures Jump Constitutional Guardrails, 44 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 273 (2020).
    Available at: UNM-DR

    Universities as “Sanctuaries,” 44 J. C. & U.L. 1 (2018).
    Available at: UNM-DR

    The Prisonization of America’s Public Schools: Prioritizing “Security” over Privacy, 45 HOFSTRA L. REV. 4 (2017).
    Available at: UNM-DR

    Evaluating High School Students’ Constitutional and Civic Literacy: A Case Study of the Washington, DC Chapter of the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project  90 D.U. L. REV. 917 (2013) (co-authored with Jeffrey J. Shook and Caleb Medearis).
    Available at: UNM-DR

    Can They Do That to Me?! Does the 8th Amendment Protection Children’s Best Interests? 63 S.C. LAW REV. 403 (2011).
    Available at: UNM-DR

    Mary Daly v. Boston College: The Impermissibility of Single-Sex Classes in Private Universities, 9 AM. U.J.G. SOC. POL'Y & L. 179 (2001).
    Available at: UNM-DR

    Bar & Trade Publications

    Looking Back, Looking Forward: Women in Criminal Justice Task Force, CRIM. JUST. (October 26, 2020).
    Available at: UNM-DR 

    Developing Youth Voices, CLEO EDGE 52 (Winter/Spring 2020).
    Available at: UNM-DR

    Listening Session Participants Express Feelings of Isolation – and Demonstrate Resilience, CRIM. L. 52 (Fall 2019).
    Available at: Criminal Justice

    What Does Immigration Status Have to do with Law School, CLEO 50 (2018).
    Available at: UNM-DR

    Presentations

    Women's TaskForce, and Training the Next Generation of Criminal Justice Leaders, ABA CJS Fall Institute (November 19, 2020)
    Abstract at: ABA CJS

    Popular Press

    Why are Women Lawyers Underrepresented in Criminal Justice?, TYL MAG. (March 31, 2021).
    Available at: UNM-DR

    Task Force Ops: Initial Findings from the Women in Criminal Justice Task Forc‪e, THE JUSTPOD (March 3, 2021).
    Available at: UNM-DR

    Immigration Trends in the D.C. Area and What They Mean for Public Education, THE WASHINGTON POST (July 9, 2004).

    Teaching Resources

    We've Got Letters: Three Integrated Curriculum Guides For The Washington Post Newspaper In Education Program, 17 THE WASHINGTON POST (2017).
    Available at: UNM-DR
    Available at: We've Got Letters

    National Constitution Day Teaching Modules, BAND OF RIGHTS (2005-2013).
    Available at: UNM-DR
    Available at: Band of Rights

    Awards

     Rader-Taslitz Award, ABA Criminal Justice Section
     Don L. & Mabel F. Dickason Professorship for a three-year term (2019-2022).
     2019-2020 UNM New Teacher of the Year Award
     2019 Steven S. Goldberg Award for Distinguished Scholarship from the Education Law Association

    Law School News