Legal historian Sara Mayeux among 13 rising Vanderbilt scholars to receive Provost Research Studios for 2019-20

Jan 8, 2020

Associate Professor of Law Sara Mayeux is one of 13 Vanderbilt professors awarded Provost Research Studios for 2019-20. The annual awards support the professional development of full-time faculty at all Vanderbilt University schools who are not full professors or otherwise at the top of their promotion ladder.

Awardees receive up to $4,000 of funding to support their research with initiatives such as traveling to various universities to collaborate with senior scholars, inviting experts in their area of expertise to Vanderbilt, and convening a group of scholars to support a research initiative. The awards were announced by Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Tracey George.

Mayeux joined Vanderbilt’s law faculty in 2016 after earning her law degree and her Ph.D. in history from Stanford University. She is a legal historian of the twentieth-century United States, focusing on criminal law and procedure, constitutional law, and legal culture. She is also interested broadly in the interplay between law and history. Her book, Free Justice: A History of the Public Defender in Twentieth Century America, will be published in spring 2020 by the University of North Carolina Press. The book examines the relationship in American legal culture between the constitutional right to counsel, the history of indigent defense and public defender offices, and ideas about fair trial and democratic governance. Mayeux has received numerous awards, grants and fellowships.

Most recently in 2017, her Columbia Law Review article, “What Gideon Did,” received the Cromwell Article Prize, awarded annually for the best article in American legal history published by an early career scholar.

Before joining Vanderbilt’s law faculty in 2016, she was a Sharswood Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Berger-Howe Legal History Fellow at Harvard Law School. After law school, she was a law clerk for Judge Marsha S. Berzon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

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