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Shima Baradaran Baughman

Distinguished Fellow in Religion

Shima Baradaran Baughman has returned to BYU Law School as the Woodruff J. Deem Professor of Law and a Distinguished Fellow at the Wheatley Institute. She is one of the top cited faculty in her field and a nationally recognized expert on bail, prosecutors, and police. Her current scholarship examines criminal justice policy, forgiveness, prosecutors, bail, police reform, and how religious institutions impact criminal justice reform. Baughman has worked with empiricists on experiments involving advanced empirical modeling and randomization, including the largest global field experiment in the world. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, on National Public Radio, the Economist, the Washington Post, Forbes and other media outlets. She presented her work at Stanford, Cornell, Michigan, Texas, NYU, UCLA and many other law schools, as well as groups of federal and state judges and attorneys across the country. Her articles have been published in top law journals including University of Pennsylvania Law Review, USC Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Texas Law Review, George Washington Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, Washington University Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Boston University Law Review and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. Her 2018 book, The Bail Book: A Comprehensive Look at Bail in America's Criminal Justice System with Cambridge University Press was the first book in the third wave of bail reform. Baughman is also a coauthor of Criminal Law: Case Studies and Controversies (5th Ed Aspen), with Paul Robinson and Michael Cahill, now in its third edition. She is also coauthor of the most popular criminal law student study aid, Examples & Explanations in Criminal Law (8th edition) (with Richard G. Singer & John Q. LaFond).

Baughman started her legal teaching career at BYU Law School in 2010 where she was voted Professor of the year. In 2013, Professor Baughman joined the faculty at the University at Utah Law School where she was faculty for eight years, and Associate Dean of Faculty Research and Development for two years. She served as Chair of the AALS Criminal Justice Section Executive Committee in 2015-16. Baughman also has chaired several American Bar Association Committees including the ABA Pretrial Justice Taskforce, the Committee on Crime Prevention, Pretrial Release & Police Practices, and the Corrections Committee. Professor Baughman served from 2014-2018 as a member of the Utah Sentencing Commission.

Before joining the legal academy, Professor Baughman was a Fulbright Senior Scholar researching pretrial detention in Malawi and lecturing in criminal law at the University of Malawi. While in Malawi she worked as a justice advisor to the British Department for International Development, advised a coalition of international nongovernmental organizations including UNAIDS and UNDP, and represented criminal defendants in felony cases and in constitutional litigation.

Between 2005-2008, Professor Baughman worked as a litigator at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in New York, receiving national press coverage for role in religious freedom prison reform litigation. After graduating first in her class at Brigham Young University Law School and serving as editor-in-chief of the BYU Law Review, Shima Baradaran Baughman clerked for Judge Jay S. Bybee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Baughman has four children and moved to the United States at the age of seven as a refugee from Iran. She enjoys yoga, pickle ball and hiking.