• Professor, College Of Law

Research Summary

Professor Baradaran's research focuses on criminal law, criminal procedure, international law and international criminal law. She has worked with economists and political scientists to do empirical work, including the largest international randomized controlled trial. Her work has been published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies and top law reviews including the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Texas Law Review, Georgetown Law Review, Minnesota Law Review and other top journals.


  • J.D., Law, summa cum laude, Brigham Young University Law School


Professor Baughman's teaching and scholarship focus on criminal law, criminal procedure, and international law. Shima Baradaran Baughman is a national expert on bail and pretrial prediction and her current scholarship examines criminal justice policy, prosecutors, drugs, search and seizure, international law and terrorism, and race and violent crime.  Baughman has worked with economists and political scientists to write articles involving advanced empirical modeling and randomized controlled trials, including the largest global field experiment in the world.  Her work has been featured in the New York Times, on National Public Radio, the Economist, the Washington Post, Forbes and other media outlets and she has been invited to present her work at Stanford, Cornell, NYU, UCLA and many other law schools and to groups of judges and attorneys across the country.  Her articles have been published in many top journals including University of Pennsylvania Law Review, USC Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Texas Law Review, George Washington Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. She recently published a book, The Bail Book: A Comprehensive Look at Bail in America's Criminal Justice System with Cambridge University Press. Her textbook, Criminal Law: Case Studies and Controversies (4th Ed Aspen), coauthored with Paul Robinson and Michael Cahill is now available.

Voted Professor of the year in 2013, she joined the faculty of the University of Utah after three years of teaching at BYU Law School. She served as Chair of the AALS Criminal Justice Section Executive Committee in 2015-16.  Baradaran also has chaired the ABA Pretrial Justice Taskforce and as Co-chair of the Committee on Crime Prevention, Pretrial Release & Police Practices. Professor Baughman was appointed in 2014 as a member of the Utah Sentencing Commission.

Before joining the legal academy, Professor Baughman served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar researching pretrial detention in Malawi and lecturing in criminal law at the University of Malawi. While in Malawi she worked as a justice advisor to the British Department for International Development, advised a coalition of international nongovernmental organizations including UNAIDS and UNDP, and represented criminal defendants in felony cases and in constitutional litigation.

Professor Baughman has worked as a litigator at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in New York, receiving national press for role in prison reform litigation.  After graduating first in her class at Brigham Young University Law School and serving as editor-in-chief of the BYU Law Review, Shima Baradaran Baughman clerked for Judge Jay S. Bybee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

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