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Francesca L. Procaccini

Assistant Professor of Law

Francesca Procaccini researches and writes about federal courts and constitutional law, particularly First Amendment law. She joined the Vanderbilt Law faculty in 2022 after teaching at Harvard Law School for two years as a Climenko Fellow, where her scholarship focused on constitutional political rights. Before that, she was a fellow with the Yale Law School Information Society Project, where she researched modern applications of First Amendment law to digital political speech and taught courses on free speech law and media law. Prior to entering the legal academy, Professor Procaccini was an appellate attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she litigated civil rights cases in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Professor Procaccini earned her law degree cum laude at Harvard Law School, and she is a summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Barnard College. After law school, she was a law clerk for Judge Jerome Farris, then of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Her scholarly articles have been published in the Virginia Law ReviewFordham Law ReviewHarvard Journal on Legislation, and Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Additionally, her legal analysis has appeared in the New York Times, LA Times, The Atlantic, and Lawfare. In her first year teaching at Vanderbilt, Professor Procaccini won the Hall-Hartman Outstanding Professor award.

Research Interests

Constitutional law, First Amendment, federal courts, civil rights law, civil procedure

Representative Publications

  • “(E)racing Speech in School,” 57 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (forthcoming 2023)
  •  "Equal Speech Protection," 108 Virginia Law Review 353 (2022)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Reconstructing State Republics," 89 Fordham Law Review 2157 (2021)
    Full Text | SSRN
  • "Faithfully Executed? The Legal and Rational Imperative if Declining to Seek the Federal Death Penalty in Abolitionist States," 53 Harvard Journal on Legislation (2016)
  • "Stemming the Rising Risk of Credit Inequality: The Fair and Faithful Interpretation of the ECOA's Disparate Impact Prohibitions," 9 Harvard Law and Policy Review 43 (2015)