L. Song Richardson

Dean and Chancellor's Professor of Law

Joint Appointment in Criminology, Law & Society
Joint Appointment in Asian American Studies
Faculty Advisory Board, Center on Law, Equality and Race
Faculty Affiliate, Center for Biotechnology & Global Health Policy

L. Song Richardson


Criminal procedure, criminal law, law and social science


L. Song Richardson is the Dean and Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law with joint appointments in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society and in the Department of Asian American Studies. She received her AB from Harvard College and her JD from Yale Law School.

Dean Richardson is the second dean of UCI Law, and at the time of her appointment, was the only woman of color to lead a top 30 school.  Under her leadership, UCI Law broke records and achieved unprecedented success, including becoming the only law school less than ten years old to achieve the rank of #21 by US News and World Report.

Her interdisciplinary research uses lessons from cognitive and social psychology to study decision-making and judgment in a variety of contexts. Her scholarship has been published by law journals at Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Cornell, Duke and Northwestern, among others. Her article, “Police Efficiency and the Fourth Amendment” was selected as a “Must Read” by the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. Her co-edited book, The Constitution and the Future of Criminal Justice in America, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013. She is a co-editor of Criminal Procedure, Cases and Materials published by West Academic Publishing.  Currently, she is working on a book that examines the history of race in the U.S. and its implications for law and policy. 

Her legal career has included partnership at a boutique criminal law firm and work as a state and federal public defender. She was also an Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Immediately upon graduation from law school, Dean Richardson was a Skadden Arps Public Interest Fellow with the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles and the Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Unit in Brooklyn, NY. 

A leading expert on implicit racial and gender bias in a variety of contexts, including emerging technologies, Richardson is frequently invited to speak to judges, law firms, district attorney and public defender offices, police departments, universities, bar associations, and private industry across the world about the science of implicit bias and its influence on decisions, perceptions, and judgments.  She has consulted with public and private entities seeking to develop practices to address racial and gender disparities within their organizations and practices. She is also a leading expert on race and policing, including numerous articles on police violence. She has worked with police departments seeking to understand and address the impact of race on their policing practices.

She has won numerous awards and recognitions, including the American Association of Law School’s Derrick Bell Award, which recognizes a faculty member’s extraordinary contributions to legal education through mentoring, teaching, and scholarship; the NAPABA Trailblazer Award; named one of the Top Women Lawyers in California by The Daily Journal; and chosen as one of the two most influential Korean Americans in Orange County.

Dean Richardson is a member of the American Law Institute, the country’s leading independent organization made up of elected judges, academics, and practitioners, which publishes works to clarify and improve the law. She is also on the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools, an association whose goal is to uphold and advance excellence in legal education, including promoting the core values of excellence in teaching and scholarship, academic freedom, and diversity while seeking to improve the legal profession, to foster justice, and to serve local, national and international communities. She serves on the Board of Equal Justice Works. In 2020, she was appointed by Gov. Newsom to the CA Penal Code Revision Committee.

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

Prof. Richardson’s Scholarly Papers on SSRN

  • Feb. 26, 2021: 
    Featured Speaker, Epoch Symposium: Going Beyond a Racial Reckoning, Seattle University, Online
  • Nov. 25, 2020:
    Speaker, Implicit Bias, San Mateo County Judges, Online
  • Nov. 24, 2020:
    Speaker, TorkLaw, Online
  • Nov. 20, 2020: 
    Webinar Participant, Women Law Deans Panel, Legal Education Access Pipeline (LEAP), Online
  • Nov. 19, 2020:
    Panelist, "How to be an Inclusive Leader," Financial Times Women at the Top Conference, Online
  • Nov. 18, 2020: 
    Speaker, Implicit Bias, Mavenlink, Online
  • Nov. 13, 2020:
    Panelist, Legal Education and the Lawyer’s Role in 2020, Webinar
  • Nov. 12, 2020:
    Keynote Speaker, ABA’s Criminal Justice Conference Academic Workshop, Online
  • Nov. 4, 2020:
    Guest Speaker, Lecture and Q&A on Implicit Bias, UCI Public Health Dean's Speaker Series, Online
  • Oct. 30, 2020: 
    Panelist, The Future of Graduate Education, Online
  • Oct. 30, 2020:
    Speaker, Implicit Bias, Anthem, Online
  • Oct. 28, 2020:
    Guest Speaker, UCI Division of Finance and Administration’s Inclusive Excellence Workshop, Online
  • Oct. 19, 2020:
    Keynote Panelist, "A Fireside Chat on Equity, Race and How to Inspire Action," OC Grantmakers Summit, Online
  • Sept. 18, 2020:
    Keynote Speaker, Voice for Girls 2020, Online
  • Sept. 17, 2020:
    Speaker, Bias, Lord Abbett Leadership Conversation, Online
  • Sept. 16, 2020: 
    Constitution Day Speaker, UIC John Marshall School of Law, Online
  • August 22, 2020:
    Moderator, “Racial Justice,” Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance Joint Bar Event, Zoom video conference
  • August 17, 2020:
    Panelist, “From Police Reform to Public Safety,” Virtual Forum co-hosted by CPE, NAACP LDF and UCI, Webinar
  • July 30, 2020:
    Speaker, “BYOB (Bring your own Bias): How to be an Ally,” UCI Foundation, Webinar
  • July 29, 2020:
    Speaker, “Policing and Bias/Justice in Policing Act,” Town Hall with Congresswoman Katie Porter, Facebook Live
  • July 16 and 21, 2020:
    Speaker, Implicit Bias Training, Judicial Selection Advisory Committee, Webinar
  • July 13, 2020:
    Panelist, “Breaking Point: Tackling Systemic Racism in Miami,” McClatchy and Miami Herald Media Company, Live-streamed event
  • June 25, 2020:
    Speaker, “Blind Spots, Bias and the Brain: Elimination of Implicit Bias Training,” CA Lawyers Association Litigation Section, Webinar
  • May 28, 2020:
    Speaker, Implicit Bias in the Law, the Court System, the Legal Community, and your Legal Career, Alvin Rubin Seminar, Federal Bar Association, Webinar
  • May 8, 2020:
    Panelist, “Law Schools Update Regarding COVID-19,” OC Bar Association, Webinar
  • May 6, 2020:
    Moderator, “Implicit Bias in the Law, the Court System, the Legal Community, and your Legal Career,” Federal Bar Association Alvin Rubin Symposium, Webinar
  • March 20, 2020:
    Panelist, Women in Leadership, Provost's Leadership Academy, UCI, Irvine, CA
  • March 12, 2020:
    Speaker, Implicit Bias, Wm. Matthew Byrne, Jr., Judicial Clerkship Institute, co-sponsored by the Federal Judicial Center and Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, CA
  • March 6, 2020:
    Speaker, Implicit Bias, Las Vegas Federal Public Defenders, Las Vegas, NV
  • March 2, 2020:
    Panelist, The Case for Women's Leadership: Do Our Societies Need It & Why?, 2nd Athena40 Global Conversation and UCI School of Social Sciences, University Club, Irvine, CA
  • Feb. 19, 2020:
    Speaker, Implicit Bias, LA Criminal Justice Inn of Court, Los Angeles, CA 
  • Feb. 7, 2020:
    Panelist, “Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Corporate Culture,” UCI HRTalks, UC Irvine, Irvine, CA
  • Feb. 5, 2020:
    Speaker, Implicit Bias, LA County Bar Association Appellate Judicial Evaluation Committee, Los Angeles, CA 
  • Jan. 29, 2020:
    Speaker, Implicit Bias, UC Academic Senate Council Meeting, Oakland, CA
  • Jan. 23, 2020:
    Speaker, “Women of UCI” Series, Academic and Professional Women at UCI, Irvine, CA
  • Jan. 17, 2020:
    Speaker, Implicit Bias, Riverside County Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Committee, Riverside, CA
  • Jan. 5, 2020:
    Moderator, “The (Ir)Relevance of Law in a Minority-Majority America,” AALS Annual Meeting, Washington DC
  • Dec. 3, 2019:
    Speaker, Implicit Bias, LA Courts Merit Selection Panel, Los Angeles, CA
  • Dec. 3, 2019: 
    Panelist, Roundtable Discussion, Women’s Leadership Initiative, Crowell Moring, Costa Mesa, CA
  • Nov. 1, 2019:
    Featured Speaker, Empower Summit, Washington, DC
  • Sept. 27, 2019:
    Keynote Speaker, 2019 LACBA Diversity & Inclusion Conference, Los Angeles, CA
  • Aug. 29, 2019:
    Panelist, Inspirational Women Panel, Asian Business Association of Orange County BizCon, Garden Grove, CA
  • Aug. 16, 2019:
    Panelist, "Race, Law and the Mind Sciences: The Many Implications of Implicit Bias," American Bar Foundation Fellows CLE research seminar, San Francisco, CA
  • July 23, 2019:
    Speaker, Millennials and The Judiciary, Spokane 2019 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Spokane, WA
  • July 19, 2019:
    Panel Participant, “Dean’s Panel,” Women’s Leadership in Academia, University of Virginia Law School, Charlottesville, VA
  • May 28-31, 2019: 
    Speaker, AI and Bias, AI for Good Global Summit, Geneva, Switzerland
  • May 25, 2019: 
    Speaker, 8th Cir. Judicial Conference, Hot Springs, AR
  • May 17, 2019: 
    Keynote Speaker, Implicit Bias, California Bankruptcy Court, Rancho Mirage, CA
  • May 10, 2019: 
    Keynote Speaker, “Advancing Diversity and Gender Equality in the Workplace,” Voice for Girls 2019, Girl Scouts OC, Newport Beach, CA
  • May 7, 2019: 
    Speaker, Implicit Bias, 5th Cir. Judicial Conference, New Orleans, LA
  • April 17, 2019: 
    Speaker, “Unconscious Bias and Equity in the Courtroom,” for Federal Judicial Center’s Court Webcast
  • April 16, 2019: 
    Fireside Chat, California ChangeLawyers Leadership Summit, Orrick, Herrington, & Sutfcliffe Offices, Irvine, CA
  • April 10, 2019: 
    Special Remarks, Korean-American Bar Association Installation Dinner, Los Angeles, CA
  • April 4, 2019:
    Presenter, “Colloquium on Implicit Bias,” UC Irvine Department of Physics and Astronomy, Irvine, CA
  • April 1, 2019:
    Roundtable Participant, “Program on Race, Gender & Policing,” University of Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
  • March 18, 2019:
    Dean and Chancellor’s Professor of Law L. Song Richardson, Featured Speaker, Faculty Dinner, USC Gould School of Law Intellectual Property Institute, Pacific Palisades, CA
  • March 7, 2019: 
    Panelist, “Changing our World through Impactful Research,” UCI Foundation Retreat, The Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Beach, CA
  • March 2, 2019: 
    Dean Participant, Panel moderated by President Napolitano, UCOP Public Interest Conference, Berkeley Law, Berkeley, CA
  • Feb. 28, 2019:
    Speaker, Breakfast Presentation for the Pacific Club Board of Directors, The Pacific Club, Newport Beach, CA
  • Feb. 18, 2019: 
    Speaker, CLE Lecture on Unconscious Bias, Federal Bar Council Winter Retreat, Maui, HI
  • Feb. 12, 2019:
    Featured Speaker, “Innovation, Creativity and the Brain,” Twilight Seminar Series, Bond University, Queensland, Australia
  • Feb. 9, 2019: 
    Panel Participant, New Leaders of UCI, UCI Reunion Weekend, UC Irvine, Irvine, CA
  • Jan. 28, 2019: 
    Speaker,The Enduring Legacy of Racial Bias: Past, Present and Future, 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture, Vanderbilt Law School, Nashville, TN
  • Jan. 24, 2019: 
    Moderator, Cornel West and Robert George: Civil Discourse Today, UC Irvine, Irvine, CA
  • Jan. 5, 2019: 
    Speaker, Plenary Session, 2019 AALS Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA
  • Jan. 4, 2019: 
    Facilitator, Small Group Discussion - After "Before the JD" - What to Do with the Report?, 2019 AALS Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA
  • Jan. 3, 2019: 
    Speaker, Law and Technology, Live with Kellye & Ken, 2019 AALS Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA
  • Oct. 19, 2018
    Panelist, “Pragmatics: The First 100 Days and Beyond,” the Provost’s Leadership Academy, UC Irvine, Irvine, CA 
  • Oct. 10, 2018
    Speaker, “What Matters to Me and Why” series, UC Irvine, Irvine, CA
  • Sept. 27, 2018
    Speaker, “Healing Trauma, Healthy Communities” Conference, SaintA, Milwaukee, WI
  • Sept. 20, 2018
    Keynote Speaker, Beckman Coulter Diagnostics “Excellence in Innovation” Banquet, Huntington Beach, CA
  • Sept. 15, 2018: 
    Commentator, “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America,” Brennan Center’s Jorde Symposium, Berkeley Law, Berkeley, CA
  • Sept. 12, 2018:
    Guest of Honor and Featured Speaker, Global Women’s Initiative of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Newport Beach, CA
  • April 30, 2018:
    Speaker, Greater Washington State Higher Education Recruitment Consortium Annual Symposium, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • April 27, 2018:
    Guest Speaker, Implicit Bias, Heart of American Sentencing Guidelines Conference, Kansas City, KS
  • March 29, 2018:
    Speaker, UCI Korean American Leadership, UCI Korean American Alumni Chapter, Buena Park, CA
  • March 24, 2018:
    Speaker, "Implicit Bias and the Myth of Color Blind Justice," Innocence Network Conference, Memphis, TN
  • March 15, 2018:
    Speaker, "Implicit Bias," 18th Annual Byrne Judicial Clerkship Institute, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA
  • March 6, 2018:
    Featured Speaker, "Implicit Bias - Habits of the Mind: The Complexities of Managing a Legal Practice," Orange County Association of Legal Administrators Law Firm Leadership Forum March 2018, Newport Beach, CA
  • Jan. 17, 2018:
    Presenter, "Implicit Bias in the Legal System: An Assessment and Recommendations," Judge William A. Ingram Memorial Symposium, Santa Clara University, CA
  • Jan. 16, 2018:
    Speaker, "Recognition and Elimination of Bias MCLE: Understanding - and Attempting to Address - Implicit Bias in the Workplace," Orange County Coalition for Diversity in the Law 2018 Elimination of Bias MCLE, Newport Beach, CA
  • Jan. 6, 2018:
    Speaker, "Terry at Fifty: On the Books and On the Ground," AALS Annual Meeting 2018, San Diego, CA
  • Jan. 3, 2018:
    Discussion Group Participant, "Access to Justice in the Age of Technology, Television, and Trump," AALS Annual Meeting 2018, San Diego, CA
  • July 19, 2017:
    Welcome speaker, Expanding Perspectives on Gender Equality conference, UCI Newkirk Alumni Center
  • July 10, 2017:
    Panelist, “Why We Can’t Breathe: Police Violence Against People of Color in Urban America and the Distorting Prism of Race,” 35th International Congress on Law and Mental Health, Charles University, Prague
  • Korean Prosecutors Association Community Service Award Winner (2020)
  • Named to the Lawyers of Color Power List (2020)
  • Korean Community Lawyers Association Friend of the Community Award Winner (2020)
  • Elected to AALS Executive Committee (January 2019)
  • Recipient of the "Be The Change" Legal Excellence Award at the 2nd Annual Diversity & Inclusion Unity in Service Celebration
  • Named Among Top Women Lawyers in California for 2018 – Daily Journal
  • Nominated for Women of the Year award – Orange County Business Journal
  • Featured as one of OC Weekly’s "OC People of 2018" – OC Weekly
  • Outstanding Achievement Award, UCI BLSA
  • 2011 Recipient of the American Association of Law School’s Derrick Bell Award which recognizes a junior faculty member’s extraordinary contribution to legal education through mentoring, teaching, and scholarship
  • Member, American Law Institute