Saturday, February 5, 2005
Alexandra “Sasha” Natapoff writes: “I was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts by professor parents. After studying philosophy as a Yale undergraduate, I headed for Washington, D.C., to save the world, where it took several years of public policy work and community organizing to figure out that democracy wasn’t that simple. Stanford Law School was a wonderful experience, in large part because it gave me the chance to start writing. I then went back to D.C. to clerk, first for Judge Paul Friedman in federal district court, and then for Judge David Tatel on the D.C. Circuit, after which I went to Baltimore on a fellowship from the Open Society Institute. I spent two years in low-income communities providing legal services and education, motivated in part by my selfish desire to hear firsthand what people living in rampant urban disfunction think about our legal system. That experience propelled me into the Federal Public Defenders Office where I worked for three years.
I started teaching last year at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. As a scholar, my current focus is on the uncomfortable intersection of legal doctrine with the realities of the criminal system. For example, I have written about the legal institution of snitching and its caustic effects on high-crime communities in which snitching is common. I am now writing about the personal, dignitary, and democratic harms caused by the pervasive silencing of criminal defendants. I am also enormously enjoying kindergarten with my six-year old son, who, when I ask him too many questions about his day at school, likes to remind me that he has the right to remain silent."
Natapoff has authored the following publications: In a Missing Voice: The Silencing of Criminal Defendants (2004 Outstanding Paper Award from the AALS Criminal Justice Section) (manuscript); Snitching: The Institutional and Communal Consequences, 73 U. Cinn. L. Rev. _ (2005) (selected by 2004 Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum); Madisonian Multiculturalism, 45 Am. U. L. Rev 751 (1996); Trouble in Paradise: The Dilemma of Interminority Group Conflict, 47 Stan. L. Rev. 1059 (1995) (winner Stephen M. Block Civil Liberties Award); Intersectionality and Equality for Deaf Children in Non-English Speaking Homes, 4 J. Law & Educ. 271 (1995); The Year of Living Dangerously: State Courts Expand the Right to Education, 92 Ed. Law Rep. 755 (1994).
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