Professor Maryam Ahranjani

Maryam Ahranjani

Associate Professor and Don L. & Mabel F. Dickason Professor
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

  Curriculum Vitae  UNM-DR     SSRN

Contact Information

 Ph.: 505-277-2113
 Office: 3238



Professor Maryam Ahranjani teaches in the areas of constitutional, criminal and education law. She chairs the law school’s Admissions and Financial Aid Committee and 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.


Prior to joining the faculty at in 2016, Professor Ahranjani served as an international legal consultant in Guatemala City. She worked for the American Bar Association 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.

Professor Ahranjani currently serves as the Reporter of the ABA Women in Criminal Justice Task Force, the Chair 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.

Professor Ahranjani has two law review articles coming out in late 2020: School “Safety” Measures Jump Constitutional Guardrails (Seattle University Law Review) and “Toughen Up, Buttercup” vs. #TimesUp: Challenges Faced by Women Criminal Lawyers” (Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law). She is also working on a chapter exploring the purposes of education for a forthcoming Bloomsbury Press book.

Recent Awards

Professor Ahranjani was selected for a University-wide award (New Faculty of the Year) in 2020. In recognition of her scholarship, teaching and service at the law school, Professor Ahranjani was awarded the Don L. & Mabel F. Dickason Professorship for a three-year term (2019-2022).  The Education Law Association recognized her in 2019 with the Steven S. Goldberg Award for Distinguished Scholarship.

In the News

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.


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.


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


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


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

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


Rader-Taslitz Award, ABA Criminal Justice Section

Law School News