Faculty Profiles

Keith Wattley

Keith Wattley

Lecturer in Law
B.A. Indiana University
J.D. Santa Clara University School of Law

Keith Wattley teaches the California Prison to Parole Seminar and supervises the California Prison to Parole Externship.

Wattley is an experienced prisoners’ rights attorney who has represented thousands of prisoners before all levels of state and federal courts and administrative boards. He has acted as appointed or retained counsel in hundreds of administrative and habeas corpus matters in California state and federal courts representing life-sentenced prisoners, and he is the founder and managing attorney of UnCommon Law, a nonprofit corporation specializing in representing life-sentenced prisoners.  The firm trains law students, attorneys and advocates in providing representation of indigent prisoners.

Wattley is a frequent speaker on California prisoners’ rights and parole matters who has given presentations at Stanford Law School, UC Berkeley Law School, UC Hastings College of Law, Santa Clara University School of Law, UCLA School of Law and UC Santa Cruz.  He provides MCLE training on parole representation and has provided training for public defenders, as well as life-sentenced prisoners themselves and their families.

Wattley received his B.A. in Psychology from Indiana University and his J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law where he was President of the Black Law Students Association, and recipient of an AmJur Award for Legal Profession and a Public Interest Law Certificate.  In 2009 he received the Social Justice and Human Rights Award from Santa Clara Law School. 

Wattley is the author of “Insight Into California’s Life Sentences,” Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 25, No. 4 (April 2013). He serves on the Institutional Review Board of the National Council on Crime & Delinquency. He was a member of the board of directors of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children from 2007-12, and the founding board of directors of the Prison University Project from 2006-12.