For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Adam Benforado

Professor of Law

Professor Adam Benforado


Office: School of Law, Room 277
Phone: 215.571.4809

Administrative Support:
Tyra Mwai
Phone: 215.571.4715


Adam Benforado’s principal focus is on criminal justice and children’s rights. He is particularly interested in bringing insights from the mind sciences—most notably cognitive psychology—to law and legal theory. Collaborating with psychologists on novel experiments, Professor Benforado is committed to developing a more realistic understanding of the behavior of legal actors. He was awarded a National Science Foundation grant for his empirical work investigating human intuitions about punishment.

As an undergraduate, Professor Benforado studied at Yale University and Oxford University. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School and was a Frank Knox Fellow and Visiting Scholar with the Cambridge University Faculty of Law. He clerked for Judge Judith Rogers on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Professor Benforado also worked at Jenner & Block, LLP in Washington, D.C., where he handled trial and appellate litigation matters.

He has published numerous scholarly articles in law reviews and scientific journals, and his op-eds and essays have appeared in a variety of publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Chronicle of Higher Education, American Scholar and Boston Review.

His acclaimed first book, “Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice,” was a New York Times bestseller, a #1 bestseller and the recipient of a variety of awards and honors: 2017 American Psychology-Law Society Book Award, 2016 Science in Society Journalism Awards Honorable Mention, Green Bag Exemplary Legal Writing Honoree, 20th Annual Books for a Better Life Awards Finalist and Media for a Just Society Awards Finalist. It has been translated for editions in Taiwan, South Korea and China.

An active media voice, Professor Benforado has been interviewed by Larry King, Al Sharpton, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Scott Simon and been featured on Fresh Air. He regularly speaks to academic audiences, legal practitioners and the public about his research.

Professor Benforado’s new book, “A Minor Revolution: How Prioritizing Kids Benefits Us All,” was published by Crown in Spring 2023.