Terry A. Maroney

Professor of Law
Professor of Medicine, Health and Society
Co-director, Social Justice Program

Terry Maroney specializes in criminal law, juvenile justice and the role of emotion in law, drawing heavily on interdisciplinary scholarship. Her current work examines the impact of emotion on judicial decision making with the most recent article in this series, “Angry Judges,” published in the Vanderbilt Law Review. It follows “Emotional Regulation and Judicial Behavior” and "The Persistent Cultural Script of Judicial Dispassion," both of which appeared in the California Law Review, and her exploration of judges’ “emotional common sense” in the Vanderbilt Law Review. Professor Maroney has also examined the use of adolescent brain science in juvenile cases, a subject of great interest in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s citation to such evidence in cases involving the juvenile death penalty and life without parole. Her other writings include a widely-read taxonomy of law-and-emotion scholarship; an article arguing that emotional dysfunction provides a legal basis for declaring a defendant incompetent, cited by justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court; and a frequently-cited note on hate crime. Drawing on her practice experience in exonerating the wrongly convicted, Professor Maroney recently inaugurated a class titled Actual Innocence. She joined Vanderbilt's law faculty in 2006 after serving as a law fellow at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. Before her fellowship at USC, Professor Maroney was a Furman Fellow at New York University School of Law, a litigation associate at WilmerHale, and a Skadden Fellow at the Urban Justice Center. After earning her J.D. summa cum laude at New York University, she clerked for Judge Amalya L. Kearse on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She spent six years working as a rape crisis counselor, HIV educator and advocate for crime victims before earning her law degree.

Research Interests

Criminal law, juvenile justice, law and human behavior, law and emotion, law and neuroscience

Representative Publications

  • “Angry Judges,” 65 Vanderbilt Law Review 1207 (2012)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "The Persistent Cultural Script of Judicial Dispassion," 99 California Law Review 629 (2011)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Adolescent Brain Science After Graham v. Florida," 86 Notre Dame Law Review 765 (2011)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Emotional Regulation and Judicial Behavior," 99 California Law Review 1485 (2011)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Emotional Common Sense as Constitutional Law," 62 Vanderbilt Law Review 851 (2009)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "In Family Law, Love’s Got a Lot To Do with It: A Response to Phillip Shaver," 16 Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law 471 (2009)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Unlearning Fear of Outgroup Others," 72 Law & Contemporary Problems 83 (2009)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "The False Promise of Adolescent Brain Science in Juvenile Justice," 85 Notre Dame Law Review 89 (2009)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • “Emotional Competence, ‘Rational Understanding,' and the Criminal Defendant,” 43 American Criminal Law Review 1375 (2006)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • “Law and Emotion: A Proposed Taxonomy of an Emerging Field,” 30 (2) Law and Human Behavior 119 (2006)
    Full Text | SSRN

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Contact Information

(615) 343-3491 (voice)
(615) 322-6631 (fax)
Room 288 (office)

Curriculum Vitae



J.D. New York University
B.A. Oberlin College