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Francesca L. Procaccini

Assistant Professor of Law

Francesca Procaccini focuses her research and writing on federal courts and constitutional law, particularly First Amendment law. She joined the Vanderbilt Law faculty after spending two years as a Climenko Fellow at Harvard Law School, 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 a fellow with the Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic, where she taught courses on First Amendment law and media law and supervised students in the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic.

Before entering the legal academy, Professor Procaccini worked in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice for three years. She earned her law degree cum laude at Harvard Law School, where she was executive editor of the Harvard Law and Policy Review and articles editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, and she is a 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 and Fordham law reviews and the Harvard Journal on Legislation, and she has an article forthcoming in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. She has worked as a contributor for Lawfare and published articles in The Atlantic and the Maryland Bar Journal.

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)