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Farhang Heydari

Assistant Professor of Law

Farhang Heydari teaches and writes about our society’s reliance on policing and the criminal law, and the impact of that reliance. His research aims to reveal new perspectives on the policy and regulatory choices available in an effort to make the system more just, effective, and equitable.

Professor Heydari has a particular interest in policing technologies and the impact of artificial intelligence on the criminal system. He serves as an appointed member of the federal government’s National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee, Subcommittee on AI and Law Enforcement.

Heydari’s research appears in leading law journals, including the Stanford, University of Virginia, and George Washington law reviews, and the Berkeley Technology Law Journal.

Prior to joining the Vanderbilt Law faculty, Heydari spent a decade working to improve accountability in the criminal system. He was the inaugural executive director of the Policing Project at New York University School of Law, a multi-disciplinary center focused on improving democratic governance around policing. Prior to that, he spent several years at Neufeld Scheck & Brustin representing victims of government misconduct in complex civil rights actions.

Heydari earned his A.B. in government from Harvard and his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was the editor-in-chief of the Columbia Law Review. After law school, Heydari clerked for Judge Diana Gribbon Motz of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Kimba Wood of the Southern District of New York.

Research Interests

- Policing & Mass Incarceration
- Criminal Procedure
- Surveillance Law & Technology
- Criminal Law
- Civil Rights Litigation

Additional Courses

- Criminal Procedure: Investigations
- Criminal Law
- Administering the Carceral State (Seminar)