Sudeall’s appointment was announced by Dean Chris Guthrie. She will join Vanderbilt from the law faculty at Georgia State University College of Law, where she is the founding faculty director of the Center for Access to Justice and teaches Constitutional Law and elective courses on capital punishment and access to justice.
At Vanderbilt, Sudeall will launch and direct the Vanderbilt Access to Justice Initiative as part of the George Barrett Social Justice Program.
“Lauren Sudeall is an accomplished scholar and teacher whose current research addresses the critical and timely issue of access to justice for lower-income individuals. I am excited to welcome her to Vanderbilt, where I know she will have a tremendous impact on our students, our faculty and the legal services community.” Guthrie said.
Sudeall’s scholarly research focuses on access to civil and criminal courts and how lower-income and other marginalized individuals navigate the legal system, both with and without lawyers representing them.
In other work she has focused on the relationship between constitutional rights and identity and the intersection of constitutional law and criminal procedure. Her research has been published in the Harvard, Columbia, California, Minnesota, UCLA and Fordham law reviews and the Yale Law Journal Forum, among other scholarly journals. She has also published in the popular press.
After earning her J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, Sudeall served as a law clerk for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Justice John Paul Stevens of the Supreme Court of the United States. At Harvard Law she was treasurer of the Harvard Law Review and received the Frank Righeimer Jr. Prize for Student Citizenship. She received her B.A. in political science with distinction from Yale University.
After her clerkships, Sudeall joined the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta first as a Soros Fellow and then as a staff attorney. There, she represented indigent capital clients and clients bringing civil claims of constitutional violations within the criminal justice system, including violations of the right to counsel. She joined the Georgia State Law faculty in 2012.
Sudeall is a member of the American Law Institute. She has previously served on the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants and the Southern Center for Human Rights’ board of directors. She is a past chair of the AALS Section on Constitutional Law.
Sudeall was recognized in 2015 with Georgia State’s Patricia T. Morgan Award for Outstanding Faculty Scholarship and in 2018 with the Steven J. Kaminshine Award for Excellence in Service.
While practicing law with the Southern Center on Human Rights, she received the Anti-Defamation League’s Stuart Eizenstat Young Lawyer Award and was named by the Fulton County Daily Report as one of 10 “On the Rise” Georgia Lawyers under 40. In 2011 she was recognized as one of National Law Journal’s Minority 40 Under 40 lawyers.