Mae C. Quinn

Professor of Law 

Mae Quinn teaches and writes in the areas of criminal law and procedure, evidence and ethics, civil rights and procedure, legal history, and youth justice. Her scholarly work, which includes over 30 articles or essays, has been published by the Harvard Journal of Gender and Law, NYU Review of Law and Social Change, Washington and Lee Law Review, Iowa Law Review and other top journals.

Quinn has previously taught at Georgetown University Law Center, Washington University School of Law, University of Tennessee School of Law, UDC David A. Clarke School of Law and other institutions. Quinn also served as a law clerk to the late Judge Jack B. Weinstein, United States District Court, EDNY and practiced as a New York City public defender, including briefing and arguing approximately 40 cases on appeal.

Between 2009 and 2016 Quinn collaborated with students, community activists, and the Department of Justice to help improve Missouri’s juvenile and municipal court systems through litigation and other advocacy. In 2016 Quinn stepped away from teaching for two years to launch the MacArthur Justice Center in St. Louis. Through class action lawsuits and other initiatives, Quinn and the MacArthur Justice team challenged Missouri prison conditions, parole practices, and lack of public defender funding, helping to bring about substantial reforms.

Quinn has also established and run legal education programs in jails and detentions centers in District of Columbia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and served as lead counsel on several United States Supreme Court and other amicus briefs relating to youth justice, civil rights, and sentencing.

Mae Quinn


Phone  717-240-5006


Faculty Impact

LL.M., Georgetown Law Center

J.D., University of Texas School of Law

B.A., SUNY Albany

Courses and Research Interests

Criminal Law and Procedure

Evidence and Ethics

Civil Rights and Procedure

Legal History

Youth Justice

Quinn’s Publications


Mae C. Quinn & (law students) Tierra Copeland, Tatyana Hopkins, Mary Brody, Jamie Adams, Olivia Chick, Madelyn Roura, and Ashley Taylor, and (community partners) Patrice Sulton and Naïké Savain, A More Grown-Up Response to Ordinary Adolescent Behaviors: Repealing PINS Law, 25 UDC LAW REVIEW 66 (2022).

Mae C. Quinn, Childist Objections, Youthful Relevance, and Evidence Reconceived, DICKINSON LAW REVIEW (forthcoming 2022).

Mae C. Quinn and Greg Leding, Amending Our Anti-democratic Ways: The Criminal Justice System Must Stop Disenfranchising Children, JURIST (AUG. 2021).

Constitutionally Incapable: Parole Boards as Sentencing Courts, 73 SMU Law Review 565 (2019).

Wealth Accumulation at Elite Private Colleges, the Endowment Tax & How Donald Trump Got One Thing Right, 54 Wake Forest L. Rev. 451 (2019)(selected article for Law and Society Symposium issue).

Fallen Woman (Re)Framed: Judge Jean Hortense Norris, New York City – 1912-1955, 67 Kansas L. Rev. 451 (2019).

“Post-Ferguson” Social Engineering: Problem-Solving Justice or Just Posturing, 59 Howard L. Rev. 739 (2016)(invited/symposium).

In Loco Juvenile Justice: Minors in Munis, Cash from Kids & Adolescent Pro Se Advocacy – Ferguson and Beyond, 2015 B.Y.U. L. Rev. 1247 (2015).

Giving Kids their Due: Theorizing a Modern Fourteenth Amendment Framework for Juvenile Defense Counsel, 99 Iowa Law Review 101 (2014)(invited/symposium).

From Turkey Trot to Twitter: Policing Puberty, Purity, and Sex Positivity, 20 N.Y.U. Review of Law and Social Change 51 (2014).

The “Other” “Missouri Model”: Systemic Juvenile Injustice in the Show Me State, 78 Missouri Law Review 1193 (2013)(invited/symposium).

Feminist Legal Realism, 35 Harvard J. of L. and Gender 1 (2012).

Modern Problem-Solving Court Movement: Domination of Discourse/Untold Stories of Criminal Justice Reform, 31 Wash. U. J. of L. and Policy 57 (2010)(invited/symposium).

Reconceptualizing Competence: An Appeal, 66 Washington & Lee L. Rev. 259 (2009).

Anna Kross and the Home Term Part: Second Look at the Nation’s First Criminal Domestic Violence Court, 41 Akron L. Rev. 733 (2008)(invited/symposium).

RSVP to Professor Wexler’s TJ Invitation to the Criminal Defense Bar: Unable to Join You, Already Engaged, 48 Boston College L. Rev. 539 (2007).

Revisiting Anna Kross’s Critique of Women’s Court: Problem of Solving Prostitution with Specialized Courts, 33 Fordham Urb. L.J. 665 (2006)(invited/symposium).

Whose Team am I on Anyway? Musings of a Public Defender about Drug Treatment Court Practice, 26 N.Y.U. Rev. of L. and Social Change 37 (2001).

Essays and Shorter Works

Black Women and Girls and the 26th Amendment: Activist Intersections & the First Wave Youth Suffrage Movement, 43 Seattle L. Rev. ___ (draft in progress – forthcoming 2020)(invited/symposium).

Article III Adultification of Kids: Troubling Implications of Federal Delinquency Prosecution, 7 Wash. & Lee J. Civ. Rts. & Just. ___ (forthcoming 2020)(invited/symposium – co-authoring with UF Law student).

Article III Adultification of Kids: Troubling Implications of Federal Youth Transfers, 26 Wash. & Lee J. Civ. Rts. & Just. 523 (2020)(invited/symposium – co-authored with UF Law student).

Youth Suffrage: In Support of the Second Wave, 53 Akron L. Rev. 355 (2019) (co-authored with four University of Florida Law students).

Fallen Woman Further (Re)Framed: Judge Jean Hortense Norris, 69 Kansas L. Rev. 451 (2019).

Missouri *@!!?@! – Too Slow, 62 St. Louis U.L.J. 847 (2018)(invited/symposium).

Civil Arrest? (Another) St. Louis Case Study in Unconstitutionality, 52 Wash. U.J. of L. & Policy 95 (2016) (invited/symposium; co-authored with fellow Ferguson activist).

Chaining Kids to the Ever-Turning Wheel: Other Contemporary Costs of Juvenile Court Involvement, 73 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. Online 160 (2016) (invited/co-authored with student Candace Johnson).

Against Professing: Practicing Critical Criminal Procedure, 60 St. Louis U.L.J. 515 (2015) (invited/symposium).

The Fallout from our Blackboard Battlegrounds: A Call for Withdrawal and a New Way Forward, 15 Iowa J. of Gender, Race & Justice 541 (2012)(invited/symposium).

Evolving Standards in Juvenile Justice: Gault, Graham, Beyond, 38 Wash. U.J. of L. and Policy 1 (2012)(invited/symposium).

Teaching Public Citizen Lawyering, 8 Seattle J. of Social Justice 661 (2010).

Problem Solving Courts: A Conversation with the Experts, 10 Maryland J. of Race, Religion, Gender & Class 137 (2010)(invited/symposium).

Further (Ms.)Understanding Legal Realism: Judge Anna Kross, 87 Tex. L. Rev. See Also 43 (2009).

Finding Power, Fighting Power (or the Perpetual Motion Machine), 20 Hastings Women’s L. J. 245 (2009).

New Clinician’s Way of (Un)Knowing: Forget to Remember, Remember to Forget, and (Re)Constructing Identity, 76 Tenn. L. Rev. 425 (2009).

Book Review: Marilyn Johnson’s “Street Justice: A History of Police Violence in New York City,” 26 Law & History Rev. 762 (2008)(invited book review).

Postscript to an RSVP to Prof. Wexler’s TJ Invitation to the Criminal Defense Bar, 48 Boston College L. Rev. 592 (2007).

Terry, Race, and Judicial Integrity: The Court and Suppression During the War on Drugs, 72 St. John’s L. Rev. 1323 (1998)(co-authored with Hon. Jack B. Weinstein).

Garden Path of Boyles v. Kerr and Twyman v. Twyman: Outrageous Response to Victims of Sexual Misconduct, 4 Texas J. of Women and the L. 247 (1995).

Book Chapters and Manuscript Contributions

“Feminizing” Courts: Lay Volunteers and the Integration of Social Work in Progressive Reformin Feminist Legal History: Women’s Agency and the Law (Tracey Boisseau and Tracy Thomas, eds., NYU Press 2011)(invited contribution).

Feminist Legal Realismreprinted in Women and the Law (Tracy Thomas, ed., West Pub. 2012).

An RSVP to Professor Wexler’s TJ Invitation to the Criminal Defense Bar and Postscript to an RSVPreprinted in David Wexler’s Rehabilitating Lawyers: Principles of Therapeutic Jurisprudence for Criminal Law Practice (Carolina Academic Press 2008).

Some Reflections on the Federal Judicial Role During the War on Drugs (with Hon. Jack B. Weinstein), in The Judicial Role in Criminal Proceedings (Hart Press 2000).

Quinn’s Affiliations and Service to Community

Human Rights for Kids, Washington D.C.
Advisory Board Member

Pennsylvania Law Schools’ Elder Law Consortium
Founding Member

Quinn’s Presentations and Panels

AALS Clinical Legal Education Conference
Facilitator/Reviewer — Junior Scholar Works in Progress Session
Remote — May 2022

AALS Workshop for New Law Teachers
Presenter Building a Scholarly Community Session
Washington, D.C. — June 2022

Southeastern Association of Law Schools Conference
Moderator/Presenter — Expanding Experiential: Advancing Racial Justice Across the Curriculum and into the Community
Miramar Beach, Florida — July 2022

NYU Clinical Law Review Scholarship Workshop
Senior Scholar Facilitator — Works in Progress Session (Tax and Administrative Law)
New York, New York — October 2022

Syracuse University College of Law — NYS Raise the Age Summit
Keynote Speaker — Objecting to Childism in Law, Evidence and Practice
Remote — October 2022

Quinn’s Appellate Advocacy

November 2021 — Terence Andrus v. United States — Amicus Brief to US Supreme Court with Students and Community Partners on behalf of the Children’s Defense Fund, First Focus on Children, and other groups and experts in support of Terence Andrus in death penalty (brief focused on youth trauma, ACES theory, and racial bias impacts on case outcome).

February 2022 — Dawnta Harris v. Maryland Amicus Brief to MD Court of Appeals with Students and Community Partner on behalf of Human Rights for Kids in support of teen Dawnta Harris who was sentenced to life sentence in vehicular homicide (brief addressed harshness of felony murder rule applied to children, reasonableness of flight by Black youth who encounter armed officers, other youth justice and sentencing concerns).