Professor Alma Magaña is an Assistant Professor of Law. Her focus is in the areas of criminal law, evidence, and criminal procedure.
Prior to her appointment, she was our Harold A. Stevens Visiting Assistant Professor of Law. Professor Magaña’s scholarship seeks to complicate the presupposition that the law and legal stakeholders can advance the interests of justice when the system itself perpetuates marginalization and vulnerability. Through a reassessment of common perceptions and myths about the legal system, her research seeks to explore ways to rectify the lack of protection afforded by the criminal legal system to poor people and Black and Latinx Communities in particular. Her first article, Public Defenders as Gatekeepers of Freedom, is forthcoming in the UCLA Law Review.
Prior to joining Cardozo School of law, she worked for the Legal Aid Society for over ten years where she represented clients in parole revocation proceedings and in criminal court. She was also a criminal immigration attorney for over a year. During her final two years with the Legal Aid Society, she was an inaugural member of its Decarceration Project where she served as counsel on petitions relating to bail and habeas corpus in the state Supreme Court and the Appellate Division of New York.
Professor Magaña has a B.A. from Furman University and a J.D. from Penn State University’s Dickinson Law. In law school, she was president of the Latinx Law Students Association and vice president of the Public Interest Law Fund. She is a proud Chicana.