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Elizabeth E. Joh

Professor of Law


B.A., Yale University 1994

J.D., New York University School of Law 2000

Ph.D. Law and Society, New York University 2004


Professor Elizabeth Joh’s scholarship focuses on policing, surveillance technologies, undercover work, and privacy. She has published in leading law journals, including the Stanford Law Review, the California Law Review, the Northwestern University Law Review, the Virginia Law Review Online, and the University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online. A J.D./Ph.D. graduate of New York University, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Subject Areas

Criminal Law And Procedure, Police And Policing, DNA Databases, Surveillance Technologies

Selected Career Highlights

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Selected Publications


Surveillance Discretion: Automated Suspicion, Big Data, and Policing, __ Harvard L. & Pol’y Rev. __ (forthcoming 2016).

The Myth of Arrestee DNA Expungement, __ U. Pa. L. Rev. Online __ (forthcoming 2015).

The Corporation as Snitch: The New DOJ Guidelines on Prosecuting White Collar Crime (with Thomas Joo), 101 Va. L. Rev. Online 51 (2015).

Sting Victims: Third Party Harms in Undercover Police Operations (with Thomas Joo), 88 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1309 (2015).

Bait, Mask & Ruse: Technology and Police Deception 128 Harv. L. Rev. F. 246 (2015)

Should Arrestee DNA Databases Extend to Misdemeanors? 8 J. Recent Advances DNA & Gene Sequences 1 (2015).

Policing by Numbers: Big Data and the Fourth Amendment, 89 Wash. L. Rev. 35 (2014) (symposium).

Maryland v. King: Policing and Genetic Privacy (Term Paper Series), 11 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. ­­281 (2013).

Privacy Protests: Surveillance Evasion and Fourth Amendment Suspicion, 55 Ariz. L. Rev. 997 (2013).

DNA Theft: Recognizing the Crime of Nonconsensual Genetic Collection and Analysis, 91 Boston Univ. L. Rev. 665 (2011)

Breaking the Law to Enforce It: Undercover Police Participation in Crime, 62 Stan. L. Rev. 155 (2009).

Imagining the Addict: Evaluating Social and Legal Responses to Addiction, 2009 Utah L. Rev. ­­175 (2009) (Drugs: Addiction, Therapy, and Crime symposium).

Discretionless Policing: Technology and the Fourth Amendment, 95 Cal. L. Rev. 199 (2007)

The Forgotten Threat: Private Police and the State (symposium), 13 Ind. J. Global L. Stud. 357 (2006).

Reclaiming “Abandoned” DNA: The Fourth Amendment and Genetic Privacy, 100 Nw. Univ. L. Rev. 2 (2006).

Conceptualizing the Private Police, 2005 Utah L. Rev. 573 (2005).

The Paradox of Private Policing, 95 J. Crim. L. & Criminol. 49 (2004).

Custom, Tribal Court Practice, and Popular Justice, 25 Am. Indian L. Rev. 117 (2001).

Narrating Pain: The Problem With Victim Impact Statements, 10 S. Cal. Interdisc. L. J. 17 (2000).

"If It Suffices to Accuse": United States v. Watts and the Reassessment of Acquittals, 74 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 887 (1999).

Tremors on the Racial Fault Line? The Black Church Fires of 1996 (James B. Jacobs, co-author), 34 Crim. L. Bulletin 497 (1998).

Shorter Works

Your Genetic Privacy at Stake (regarding People v. Buza)(op-ed), Daily Journal, March 4, 2015.

Review Essay: Jammed Up: Bad Cops, Police Misconduct, and the New York City Police Department (2013) in ­­17 Punishment & Soc’y ­262 (2015).

What’s a “normal” amount of law enforcement?, The Life of the Law, Jan. 16, 2015.

When police moonlight in their uniforms (op-ed), L.A. Times, Oct. 13, 2014.

Influential but Uninformed: What SCOTUS Knows About Policing (reviewing Seth W. Stoughton, Policing Facts, 88 Tulane L. Rev. 847 (2014)), Oct. 1, 2014.

Forget Internet Security, How Do I Protect My Genetic Privacy?, The Life of the Law, May 5, 2014.

From Anti-Drone Burqas To Face Cages: What Artists Are Showing Us About Surveillance and the Law, The Life of the Law, April 2, 2014.

Will Big Data Change How Police Do Their Job?, The Life of the Law, Nov. 6, 2013.

Maryland v. King: Three concerns about policing and genetic information, Genomics Law Report, Sept. 19, 2013.

When the Government (Accidentally)Helps Criminal Markets (reviewing David Michael Jaros, Perfecting Criminal Markets, 112 Colum. L. Rev. 19247 (2012)), Sept. 8, 2013.

Review Essay, Police Discretion? It’s the Department, Stupid. (reviewing Nirej Sekhon, Redistributive Policing, 101 J. Crim. L & Criminol. 1171 (2012)), May 11, 2012.

DNA Theft: Your Genetic Information at Risk, 12 Nature Reviews Genetics, Oct. 25, 2011.

Review Essay, Can Fiscal Crises Change our Incarceration Problem? Maybe. (reviewing Mary D. Fan, Beyond Budget-Cut Criminal Justice, 90 N.C. L. Rev. __ (2011)), Oct. 25, 2011.

The Grim Sleeper and DNA: There’s much to be concerned about (op-ed), L.A. Times, July 10, 2010.

Review Essay, The Return of Banishment: Punishment and Policing (reviewing Katherine Beckett and Steve Herbert, Penal Boundaries: Banishment and the Expansion of Punishment, 35 Law and Social Inquiry 1 (2010)), May 24, 2010.

The ethics of DNA databasing (guest commentary),, Mar. 20, 2009

Katz v. United States, Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court (David S. Tanenhaus, ed., 2008).

Review Essay, The Politics of Punishment, 10 Punishment & Society 479 (2008).

Your Shed DNA: Up for Grabs?, Insights on Law and Society, American Bar Association (Fall 2007).

Policing Without the Police (invited submission), 34 Search & Seizure L. Rep. 57 (2007).

Private Policing, The Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties (Routledge 2006).

Private Policing: An Interpretive Guide, 33 Search & Seizure L. Rep. 25 (2006).

Private Policing: Unknown and Under-Regulated, 32 Search & Seizure L. Rep. 33 (2005).

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