Faculty Advisors

Douglas Berman

Newton D. Baker-Baker & Hostetler Chair in Law

Professor Berman can be contacted at berman.43@osu.edu.




Professor Berman’s principal teaching and research focus is in the area of criminal law and criminal sentencing and rapidly-evolving drug laws and regulations, with a special emphasis on the intersection of these issues. In addition to authoring numerous publications on topics ranging from capital punishment to the federal sentencing guidelines, Professor Berman has served as an editor of the Federal Sentencing Reporter for more than a decade, and is the sole creator and author of two widely-read and widely-cited blogs: Sentencing Law and Policy and Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform.

Professor Berman is frequently consulted by national and state policymakers, sentencing commissioners, and public policy groups concerning sentencing law and policy reforms. He has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and before numerous sentencing commissions. Professor Berman has appeared on national television and radio news programs and has been extensively quoted in major newspaper articles, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Legal Times, and in pieces from the Associated Press, Reuters, and Knight-Ridder news services.

Prior to joining the faculty of the Moritz College of Law, professor Berman was a litigation associate at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison in New York City and served as a law clerk for Judge Jon O. Newman and then for Judge Guido Calabresi, both on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

Joshua Dressler

Frank R. Strong Chair in Law

Professor Dressler can be contacted at dressler.11@osu.edu.




Joshua Dressler, Distinguished University Professor and the Frank R. Strong Chair in Law, is one of the country’s most respected authorities on the subjects of criminal law and criminal procedure. Before joining the Moritz College of Law faculty in 2001, Dressler held the first Distinguished Professor and Scholar Chair at the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, where he also was honored with the University Eberhardt Teaching and Scholar Award. Before that, he taught at Wayne State University, where he received the prestigious Donald H. Gordon Teaching Excellence Award, and at Hamline University, where he received the Best Professor Award from the student body. He also won the Outstanding 1L Professor award from students at the University of California, Los Angeles (1984) and at Moritz (2011-12).

Due to Dressler’s international renown, he has been a visiting professor at some of the nation’s best-known law schools, including University of Michigan, UCLA, Fordham University, University of California, and the University of Texas. He also has taught courses at the University of British Columbia and University of Auckland in New Zealand.

In 2005, Dressler received the honor of giving a University Distinguished Lecture, on the subject of battered women, to The Ohio State University community. In 2007, he received a University Distinguished Scholar Award. In 2014, Ohio State honored him as a Distinguished University Professor, which is the university’s highest faculty honor.

Dressler’s scholarship is substantial. He is the author of casebooks in the fields of criminal law and criminal procedure, with the former used by professors at about 120 American law schools. His treatises in the field frequently are cited by scholars and courts. He is also the author of more than 50 scholarly articles and book chapters, published in the United States and United Kingdom. He is editor-in-chief of the four-volume Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice and was instrumental in creating the respected Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, for which he now serves as co-editor.

As a member of the prestigious American Law Institute, he serves on the Members Consultative Group working on revisions to the Model Penal Code sentencing and sexual offense provisions. He also serves on the Law School Advisory Board of the West Publishing Co.’s American Casebook Series.

Dressler frequently is an invited speaker at law schools and conferences throughout the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Europe. He also is frequently called upon by local, national, and international media to comment on important criminal justice matters.

Alan C. Michaels

Dean and Edwin M. Cooperman Chair in Law

Professor Michaels can be contacted at michaels.23@osu.edu.




Alan C. Michaels was approved by The Ohio State University Board of Trustees as dean of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in November 2008.

Dean Michaels graduated from Harvard College magna cum laude in 1983 and from Columbia University School of Law in 1986.

Following graduation from law school, Dean Michaels clerked for Chief Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and then Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Dean Michaels spent three years in private practice representing the Major League Baseball Players Association and then served for four years as a prosecutor in New York County before joining Ohio State in 1995. From 2001 to 2003, he served Moritz as associate dean for faculty and also has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan.

Dean Michaels’ research, primarily in the area of the mens rea of crimes and in the adjudicatory portion of criminal procedure, has been published in a variety of leading journals, including the Columbia Law Review, the Harvard Law Review, and the Southern California Law Review.

He is coauthor with Professor Joshua Dressler of Understanding Criminal Procedure (4th edition) and serves as co-managing editor of the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. Dean Michaels was the recipient of the 1998-99 Outstanding Scholarly Paper Award from the Association of American Law Schools. He was chosen as the Outstanding Professor by the graduating classes of 1999 and 2000.

Dean Michaels has taught Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure: Adjudication, White Collar Crime, and Sports Law.

Ric Simmons

Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer Professor for the Administration of Justice and Rule of Law

Professor Simmons can be contacted at simmons.239@osu.edu.




Professor Ric Simmons joined The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law faculty in 2003. He is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where he was a Stone Scholar and a senior editor of the Columbia Law Review. Following law school, he clerked for the Honorable Laughlin E. Waters of the Central District of California and then served for four years as an assistant district attorney for New York County. He was an acting assistant professor at New York University School of Law from June 2000 through June 2003 before coming to Moritz.

Professor Simmons’ research focuses on the intersection of the Fourth Amendment and new technology. He has written about the search of cell phones in The Missed Opportunities of Riley v. California, 12 Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law (2014), the use of new surveillance techniques in Technology-Enhanced Surveillance by Law Enforcement Officials, 60 New York University Annual Survey of American Law 711 (2005)), and hyper-intrusive surveillance in Can Winston Save Us from Big Brother? The Need for Judicial Consistency in Regulating Hyper-Intrusive Searches, 55 Rutgers Law Review 547 (Winter 2003)). He has also written about the privatization of the criminal justice system in Private Criminal Justice, 42 Wake Forest Law Review 911 (2007) and Private Plea Bargains, 89 North Carolina Law Review 1125 (2011). Professor Simmons has been frequently cited in the local and national media on criminal procedure issues.

Professor Simmons has also co-authored two casebooks: Learning Evidence: From the Federal Rules to the Courtroom (with co-author Debby Merritt) (3rd ed. 2014 West Publishing) and Learning Criminal Procedure (with co-author Renee Hutchins) (2014 West Publishing). He teaches Evidence, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Computer Crime and Surveillance. He has won numerous awards for teaching, including the Morgan Shipman Outstanding Professor of the Year and the Ohio State Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching. He has written a book on teaching Evidence, called Strategies and Techniques for Teaching Evidence (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business 2013).

Amna Akbar

Associate Professor

Professor Akbar can be contacted at akbar.20@osu.edu.



Professor Akbar’s teaching interests include social movements, criminal law and punishment, policing and inequality. Her scholarship explores the intersections of national security and criminal law, and the potential of social movements to transform our thinking about law, law enforcement, and law reform. Her articles have appeared or are forthcoming in NYU Law Review, UCLA Law Review, UC Irvine Law Review, NOMOS, Citizenship Studies, the Journal of Legal Education, the Nation, and more.

Her clinical practice is focused on law and organizing. With her students, she has litigated in state, federal, and transnational forums against domestic and foreign governments for rights abuses, produced community-based human rights reports, and collaborated with community organizations in campaigns for social change.

Before coming to Ohio State, Professor Akbar taught at New York University (NYU) Law School and the City University of New York (CUNY) Law School. She received her B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University, and her J.D. from the University of Michigan, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Michigan Law Review. After law school, she clerked for Judge Gerard E. Lynch in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and worked as a staff attorney at Queens Legal Service Corp., part of Legal Services NYC, in a community-based battered women’s project.