• Associate Dean of Research and Faculty Development, College Of Law
  • Professor, College Of Law

Research Summary

Professor Baughman is one of the top cited faculty in her field and a nationally recognized expert on bail, prosecutors and police. Her research also focuses on race, drugs, prediction, terrorism and violent crime. Her work has been published in top law reviews including the University of Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgetown, Minnesota, USC, Washington University and Notre Dame Law Reviews.


  • J.D., Law, summa cum laude, Brigham Young University Law School
  • Fulbright Scholar, Pretrial Detention, U.S. Department of State


Professor Baughman's teaching and scholarship focus on criminal law and criminal procedure. Shima Baradaran Baughman is a national expert on bail, pretrial prediction and prosecutors and her current scholarship examines criminal justice policy, prosecutors, drugs, police reform, and race and violent crime.  Baughman has worked with empiricists 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, Wall Street Journal, 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, Michigan, Texas, NYU, UCLA and many other law schools and to groups of federal and state 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, Washington University Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Boston University Law Review and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. Her book, The Bail Book: A Comprehensive Look at Bail in America's Criminal Justice System with Cambridge University Press was the first book in the third wave of bail reform. The second edition of her textbook, Criminal Law: Case Studies and Controversies (5th Ed Aspen), coauthored with Paul Robinson and Michael Cahill is now available. She has also coauthored the most popular criminal law student study aid, Examples & Explanations in Criminal Law (7th edition) (with Richard G. Singer & John Q. LaFond).

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.  Baughman also has chaired the ABA Pretrial Justice Taskforce, as Co-chair of the Committee on Crime Prevention, Pretrial Release & Police Practices and the Corrections Committee. Professor Baughman served from 2014-2018 as a member of the Utah Sentencing Commission. She started serving as Associate Dean of Faculty Research and Development in 2020.

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.

Between 2005-2008, Professor Baughman 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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