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Jody David Armour

Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law

J.D., Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley School of Law
A.B. Sociology, Harvard University

Gould School of Law
Los Angeles, California 90089-0071


Jody David Armour is the Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California.  He has been a member of the faculty since 1995.  Professor Armour’s expertise ranges from personal injury claims to claims about the relationship between racial justice, criminal justice, and the rule of law.  Professor Armour studies the intersection of race and legal decision making as well as torts and tort reform movements.

A widely published scholar and popular lecturer, Professor Armour is a Soros Justice Senior Fellow of The Open Society Institute’s Center on Crime, Communities and Culture.  He has published articles in Stanford Law Review, California Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, Boston College Law Review, Southern California Review of Law and Women’s Studies, University of Colorado Law Review, University of Pittsburgh Law Review, Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, Southwestern University Law Review, and Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.  His book Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism: The Hidden Costs of Being Black in America (New York University Press) addresses three core concerns of the Black Lives Matter movement—namely, racial profiling police brutality, and mass incarceration.  He has recently completed a second book that examines law, language, and moral luck in the criminal justice system.  Professor Armour often appears as a legal analyst on NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, KPCC, KCRW, and a variety of other television and radio news programs.  At the request of the US Department of State and European Embassies, Professor Armour has toured major universities in Europe to speak about social justice as well as Hip Hop culture and the law.  His work on the intersection of these topicsgrew into a unique interdisciplinary and multimedia analysis of social justice and linguistics, titled Race, Rap and Redemption, produced by USC alumna J.M. Morris, and featuring performance by Ice Cube, Mayda del Valle, Saul Williams, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Macy Gray Music Academy Orchestra, and Mailon Rivera.

Prof. Armour earned his A.B. degree in Sociology at Harvard University and his J.D. degree with honors from Boalt Hall Law School at the University of California, Berkeley.  Prior to joining University of Southern California, he was an associate at Morrison & Foerster, Kirkpatrick and Lockhart and taught at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, Indiana University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Professor Armour currently teaches students a diverse array of subjects, including Criminal Law, Torts, and Stereotypes and Prejudice: The Role of the Cognitive Unconscious in the Rule of Law.



Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Where Bias Lives in the Criminal Law and its Processes: How Judges and Jurors Socially Construct Black Criminals,” 45 American Journal of Criminal Law 203 (2018).- (PDF)
  • “Nigga Theory: Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity in the Substantive Criminal Law” 12 Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 9 (Fall 2014).- (Hein)
  • “Race Ipsa Loquitur: Of Reasonable Racists, Intelligent Bayesians, and
    Involuntary Negrophobes,” in Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic,
    editors, Critical Race Theory: The Cutting Edge, (Temple University Press, 2013).
  • “Race Ipsa Loquitur: Of Reasonable Racists, Intelligent Bayesians, and
    Involuntary Negrophobes,” in Sanford H. Kadish, Stephen J. Schulhofer,
    Carol S. Steiker, and Rachel E. Barkow, eds, Criminal Law and Its Processes: Cases and Materials, (Wolters Kluwer, 2012).
  • “Toward a Tort-Based Theory of Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Racial Justice,” 38 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 1467 (Spring 2005).- (Hein)
  • “Interpretive Construction, Systemic Consistency, and Criterial Norms in Tort Law,” 54 Vanderbilt Law Review 1157 (2001).- (Hein)
  • “Bring the Noise,” 40 Boston College Law Review 733 (May 1999).- (Hein)
  • “Color-Consciousness in the Courtroom,” 28 Southwestern University Law Review 281 (1999).- (Hein)
  • “Critical Race Feminism: Old Wine in a New Bottle or New Legal Genre?,” 7 Southern California Review of Law and Women’s Studies 431 (1998).- (Hein)
  • “Hype and Reality in Affirmative Action (Affirmative Action: Diversity of Opinions),” 68 University of Colorado Law Review 1173 (1997).- (Hein)
  • “Just Deserts: Narrative, Perspective, Choice, and Blame (Self-Defense
    and Relations of Domination: Moral and Legal Perspectives on Battered
    Women Who Kill),” 57 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 525 (1996).- (Hein)
  • “Stereotypes and Prejudice: Helping Legal Decision-makers Break the Prejudice Habit,” 83 California Law Review 733 (1995).- (Hein)
  • “Race Ipsa Loquitur: Of Reasonable Racists, Intelligent Bayesians, and Involuntary Negrophobes,” 46 Stanford Law Review 781 (1994).- (Hein)

Other Works

  • Plays
    • Race, Rap, and Redemption, Visions & Voices 2007
      Live Performances by Ice Cube, Saul Williams, Mayda Del Valle, Macy
      Gray’s Youth Orchestra, The Lula Washington Dance Theatre, and The
      Spirit of Troy (TMB).
    • Race, Rap and Redemption Reprise 2008
      Abbreviated Performance featuring The Lulu Washington Dance Theatre for Incoming USC Freshmen: Writing Requirement.
    • What’s Race Got to Do with It? October 9, 2013
      Multimedia Performance of Nigga Theory’s Conceptual Framework for
      California Lawyers & Judges for Continuing Legal Education (CLE)
  • Documentaries
    • Nigga Theory: A Brief Exploration, Directed by Khin-May Lwin, 2015
      A cinematic expression of my critical race scholarship. Selected for
      the American Documentary Film Festival, Palm Springs, March 2015 and for Dokufest – International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Prizren (Kosovo), August 2015.
    • Freeway: Crack in the System, 2015
      Includes scenes of Award-winning Director Marc Levin and former drug kingpin Freeway Rick Ross joining my seminar to discuss the causes and consequences of the crack plague.

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