Mario Barnes

Chancellor's Professor of Law
Mario Barnes


Criminal Law; Constitutional Law; National Security Law; Race and the Law


Mario Barnes, Chancellor's Professor of Law, returned to UCI Law in spring 2022 after serving as the Toni Rembe Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Washington School of Law from 2018 to 2021. 

Prof. Barnes is a nationally recognized scholar for his research on the legal and social implications of race and gender, primarily in the areas of employment, education, criminal and military law. He is one of the leaders and organizers within the school of academics seeking to build stronger connections between empirical studies and Critical Race Theory. He writes and teaches in the areas of criminal law, constitutional law, national security law, and race and the law.

At UCI Law, Prof. Barnes taught the inaugural class in 2009 and was instrumental in developing the Law School’s curriculum and sense of community. Additionally he served as the second senior associate dean for academic affairs, the first senior associate dean for faculty development and research, and helped launch the Center on Law, Equality and Race (CLEAR). Before joining UCI Law, he was a faculty member at the University of Miami School of Law, where he was twice selected as Outstanding Law Professor – and prior to that, he was a William H. Hastie Fellow at the University of Wisconsin School of Law.

Prior to his academic career, Prof. Barnes spent 12 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy, including service as a prosecutor, defense counsel, special assistant U.S. attorney, and on the commission that investigated the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen. His reserve assignments included service with the Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command in San Diego, the Navy Inspector General's Office in Washington, D.C. and U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa. He retired from the Navy in 2013, after 23 years of combined active and reserve service.

Prof. Barnes earned both a bachelor’s degree (1990) and a J.D. from UC Berkeley (1995), and an LL.M. from the University of Wisconsin (2004). He was founder, Managing Editor and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the African-American Law & Policy Report (now Berkeley Journal of African-American Law and Policy).

Prof. Barnes is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an elected member of the American Law Institute, and a Distinguished Fellow of the National Institute of Military Justice. He received the AALS Ferguson Award in 2015 and was honored with the AALS Derrick A. Bell Jr. Award in 2008. 


(Log in to view full course descriptions in the UCI Law Course Catalog)