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Irene Oritseweyinmi Joe

Acting Professor of Law


J.D. Stanford Law School 2006

B.A. Government and African American Studies, University of Texas at Austin 2003, cum laude


Professor Irene Oritseweyinmi Joe joined the faculty at UC Davis School of Law in 2016. Her teaching profile includes Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Professional Responsibility (Legal Ethics), and Voir Dire (Jury Selection). Her research focuses on how the design of the criminal process affects the ability of institutional attorneys to manage overwhelming caseloads and comply with ethical requirements. Professor Joe’s recent articles have appeared or are forthcoming in the Iowa Law Review, the California Law Review, the UC Davis Law Review, the Boston University Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, and the Denver Law Review. Professor Joe also published an op-ed during the 2016 presidential election cycle titled, “Like Many Immigrants, I Owe a Debt to the Republican Party…of the 1980s” in the Los Angeles Times.

Prior to joining the UC Davis faculty, Professor Joe served as a fellow for the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama where she represented indigent defendants in capital post-conviction litigation and children sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. She then completed a federal clerkship with the Honorable Napoleon Jones of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California before returning to practicing criminal law. Professor Joe was both a line defender and the Assistant Special Litigation Counsel at the Orleans Public Defenders, a public defender office newly created in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. She was also the Assistant Training Director with the Louisiana Public Defender Board where she was responsible for creating and implementing statewide training programs for the public defenders, investigators, mitigation specialists and administrative staff tasked with providing constitutional and ethical representation to defendants facing misdemeanor, felony and capital charges. Professor Joe transitioned to legal academia as a Binder Teaching Fellow at UCLA School of Law before assuming her position at UC Davis School of Law.

You can follow Professor Joe via her Twitter handle: @ireneojoe

Subject Areas

Criminal Law And Procedure, Juries, Legal Ethics, Professional Responsibility, Trial Advocacy And Practice, Voir Dire (Jury Selection)

Selected Career Highlights

  • Binder Teaching Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor, UCLA School of Law, 2013-2016
  • Assistant Training Director, Louisiana Public Defender Board, 2011-2013
  • Assistant Special Litigation Counsel, Orleans Public Defenders, 2008-2011
  • Fellowship Attorney, Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama, 2006-2007
  • Law Clerk to Judge Napoleon A. Jones, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, 2007-2008

Selected Publications

Irene Oritsweyinmi Joe, Structuring the Public Defender  (forthcoming in the Iowa Law Review 2021)
Irene Oritsweyinmi Joe, Regulating Implicit Bias in Federal Court  (forthcoming in the California law review)
Irene Oritsweyinmi Joe, Regulating Mass Prosecution, 53 UC Davis L. Rev. 1175 (2020)
Irene Oritsweyinmi Joe, The Prosecutor’s Client Problem, 98 B.U. L. Rev. 885 (2018) (invited symposium contribution)
Irene Oritseweyinmi Joe, Rethinking Misdemeanor Neglect, 64 UCLA L. Rev. 738 (2017)
Systematizing Public Defender Rationing, 93 Denv. L. Rev. 389 (2016)

Service Activities

Graduate & Faculty Member, Gideon’s Promise

Faculty, National Defender Training Project in Dayton Ohio

Faculty, Defender Association of Philadelphia Voir Dire Training