Joanna Schwartz is Assistant Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law. She teaches Civil Procedure and the Civil Rights Litigation Clinic. Immediately prior to her appointment, Professor Schwartz was the Binder Clinical Teaching Fellow at UCLA School of Law. She has taught several courses in UCLA’s clinical program, including: Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiation; Fact Investigation; and Lawyering Skills.
Professor Schwartz is a graduate of Brown University and Yale Law School. She was awarded the Francis Wayland Prize for her work in Yale Law School’s Prison Legal Services clinic. After law school, Professor Schwartz clerked for Judge Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York and Judge Harry Pregerson of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She was then associated with Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP, in New York City, where she specialized in police misconduct, prisoners’ rights, and First Amendment litigation. She was awarded the New York City Legal Aid Society's Pro Bono Publico Award for her work as co-counsel representing a class of inmates challenging conditions at Rikers Island. Upon moving to Los Angeles, she served as deputy director of the Western Regional Office of People for the American Way.
Professor Schwartz’s research focuses on the role of lawsuits in organizational decisionmaking. Schwartz's recent studies of police departments examine the frequency with which departments track and analyze information from lawsuits brought against their officers, and the ways in which litigation-attentive departments use lawsuit data to reduce the likelihood of future harms. Current research examines the ways litigation information is used in other organizational settings, including hospitals.