Ann Southworth

Professor of Law

Co-Director, Center for Empirical Research on the Legal Profession
Joint appointment in Criminology, Law & Society

Ann Southworth


Legal profession, professional responsibility, and cause lawyers


Professor Southworth teaches and writes on the legal profession and lawyers who serve causes, with an emphasis on lawyers’ norms, professional identities, practices, organizations, and networks.  She participated in designing UC Irvine School of Law’s required first year course on the American legal profession, and is the co-author, with Catherine Fisk, of an interdisciplinary textbook, The Legal Profession, which is now in its 2nd edition.  She has published numerous articles on civil rights and poverty lawyers, lawyers involved in national policy-making, and advocates for conservative and libertarian causes, as well as a book on the conservative legal movement, Lawyers of the Right: Professionalizing the Conservative Coalition.  Her current research interests include the discourse, resources, strategies and networks of public interest law organizations and their lawyers. Most recently, she is studying lawyers and organizations involved in campaign finance litigation in the Roberts Court.

Prior to joining the founding faculty at UC Irvine School of Law, she was a law professor at Case Western Reserve and an affiliated scholar at the American Bar Foundation.  She has been a visiting professor at Harvard and UCLA. She clerked for Judge Stanley A. Weigel and practiced at Morrison & Foerster, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the U.S. Department of Justice.  She received her B.A. and J.D. degrees from Stanford University.

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

  • Ann Southworth, $peech: The Campaign to Unleash Big Money in American Politics (in-progress)
  • Ann Southworth, What Lawyers Do: Understanding the Many American Legal Practices (with Catherine Fisk) (2020).
  • The American Legal Profession in the New Millennium: Out of Many, One? (with Carroll Seron, Scott Cummings, Anna Raup-Kounovsky, Rebecca Sandefur, Steven Boutcher, in Lawyers in the 21st Century (eds. Richard Abel, Ulrike Shultz, Ole Hammerslev, Hilary Sommerland) (Hart) (2020). 
  • Ann Southworth & Catherine L. Fisk, The Legal Profession: Ethics in Contemporary Practice 2nd Ed (2019).
  • Lawyers and the Conservative Counterrevolution, 43Law and Social Inquiry 1698-1728 (2018).
  • The Consequences of Citizens United: What Do the Lawyers Say? 93 Chicago-Kent Law Rev. 101 (2018) (article for invited symposium). 
  • Elements of the Support Structure for Campaign Finance Litigation in the Roberts Court, 43 Law and Social Inquiry 319-359 (2018) 
  • Our Fragmented Profession, 30 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 431 (2017)
  • Ann Southworth, Bryant Garth & Catherine Fisk, Some Realism about Realism in Teaching about the Legal Profession, in The New Legal Realism: Translating Law-and-Society for Today’s Legal Practice 74 (Elizabeth Mertz, Stewart Macaulay & Thomas W. Mitchell eds., 2016).
  • Ann Southworth & Catherine L. Fisk, The Legal Profession: Ethics in Contemporary Practice (2014).
  • Ann Southworth, What is Public Interest Law? Empirical Perspectives on an Old Question62 DePaul L. Rev. 493 (2013).
  • Ann Southworth, Anthony Paik & John P. Heinz, Lawyers in National Policymaking,in The Paradox of Professionalism: Law and the Possibility of Justice 220 (Scott Cummings ed., 2011).
  • Ann Southworth, Students Need to Learn About The Profession They’re Joining, A.B.A. J. Legal Rebels, Oct. 15, 2009.
  • Ann Southworth, Lawyers of the Right: Professionalizing the Conservative Coalition (2008).

Prof. Southworth's Scholarly Papers on SSRN

  • Jan. 7, 2022:
    Panelist, What Research Can Tell Us About How Law Schools, Lawyers, and Leaders Can Nourish Democracy, University of Arkansas
  • Dec. 11, 2020
    Participant, Southern California Pathways Day, Online
  • Nov. 6, 2020
    Presenter, "The Strange Bedfellows Coalition of Parties and Amici in Citizens United," UCI Law Socio-Legal Studies Workshop, Online
  • Oct. 16, 2020
    Panelist, Campaign Finance and Other First Amendment Issues in the 2020 Election, Election 2020: A Call for Civic Engagement to Promote Democracy Speaker Series, Online
  • Jan. 5. 2018
    Discussion Group Participant, “Professional Identity Development Tools to Help Law Students Meet the Needs of Today’s Clients,” AALS Annual Meeting 2018, San Diego, CA
  • October 17, 2017 
    The Consequences of Citizens United: What Do the Lawyers Say? ITT Chicago-Kent College of Law, Symposium on the Supreme Court and American Politics
  • June 19, 2017
    The American Legal Profession in the New Millennium: Out of Many, One? (with Scott Cummings and Carroll Seron), Mexico City, Mexico
  • June 2, 2017
    Co-Host/Organizer, “Legal Education: The State of the Art,” Inaugural conference of UCI Center for Empirical Research on the Legal Profession (CERLP), UC Irvine School of Law
  • Feb. 24, 2016
    Featured Speaker, Public Interest Lawyering in the U.S. and Beyond symposium, Indiana University Maurer School of Law