Fiona Doherty

Clinical Professor of Law and Director, Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization


Fiona Doherty is Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School. She founded the Criminal Justice Clinic, which defends indigent clients accused of misdemeanor and felony offenses in New Haven. She also teaches courses in Criminal Law and Sentencing. Professor Doherty is a recipient of the Yale Provost’s Teaching Prize.

FULL BIOGRAPHY
Fiona Doherty

Contact Information



Faculty Assistant


Debbie Tropiano

Education & Curriculum Vitae


J.D., Yale Law School, 1999

B.A., University of Virginia, 1996

Courses Taught


  • Samuel Jacobs Criminal Justice Clinic
  • Criminal Law
  • Sentencing
  • Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic
  • Advanced Sentencing Clinic

Fiona Doherty is Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School. She founded the Criminal Justice Clinic, which defends indigent clients accused of misdemeanor and felony offenses in New Haven. She also teaches courses in Criminal Law and Sentencing. Professor Doherty is a recipient of the Yale Provost’s Teaching Prize.

From 2005 to 2011, Professor Doherty was an Assistant Federal Defender in the Southern District of New York. Before that, she was Senior Counsel at Human Rights First in New York City, working to ensure that U.S. anti-terrorism measures incorporate human rights protections.

Professor Doherty received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1999 and clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She then received a Bernstein Fellowship to work in Northern Ireland, where she focused on cases involving the targeting of defense lawyers during the conflict.

Professor Doherty is the first female graduate of the law school to serve on its tenured clinical faculty. Her current scholarship focuses on supervised release, probation, and parole.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021


The Case For Moving Beyond Probation, And How To Do It — A Commentary by Fiona Doherty ’99

Fiona Doherty is a Clinical Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021


Yale Teach-In Series Reflects on the Path Forward After the Chauvin Verdict

A series of three teach-ins involving Law School faculty, staff, alumni, and affiliates presented an opportunity for the Yale community to reflect and come together in the wake of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021


A New Public Defender Program Has ‘Professionalized’ Connecticut’s Parole Process, Exciting Both Advocates and Prison Officials

Clinical Professor of Law Fiona Doherty ’99 is quoted in a Hartford Courant article about a new Connecticut program that offers public defender services to people accused of violating parole.

Friday, November 15, 2019


Sense of ‘hopelessness’ rises among Alabama prisoners as new rules, leadership changes, limit opportunities for parole

Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization Fiona Doherty ’99 is quoted in an article in The Appeal about new rules around parole in Alabama.

Monday, July 8, 2019


Professor Fiona Doherty ’99 Cited in Two U.S. Supreme Court Cases on Supervised Release

An article by Clinical Professor of Law Fiona Doherty ’99 was cited in decisions for two recent U.S. Supreme Court cases, Mont v. United States and United States v. Haymond. Both cases concern supervised release, a common practice in federal sentencing.

Monday, March 25, 2019


Bill Flows from Criminal Justice Clinic’s Work on Parole Revocation Reform

On March 22, 2019, the Samuel Jacobs Criminal Justice Clinic (CJC) submitted testimony to the Connecticut General Assembly in support of Senate Bill 880, “An Act Increasing Fairness and Transparency in the Criminal Justice System.” CJC’s testimony supports the bill’s parole revocation provisions, which establish data collection and rep

Monday, July 23, 2018


Professor Doherty Cited in Federal Ruling on Supervised Release

A Federal Judge in the Eastern District of New York issued a ruling this month holding that he would no longer send people back to prison for marijuana use while on supervised release. The opinion extensively cited the work of Professor Fiona Doherty ’99.

Monday, July 16, 2018


Defendants on Probation Can Be Jailed for Drug Relapse, Court Rules

Clinical Professor of Law Fiona Doherty ’99 is quoted in an article about the impact of probation on substance abusers.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Jail for Drug Relapse: A Case Asks if That's Fair

Clinical Professor of Law Fiona Doherty ’99 is quoted in an article about probation and how it impacts substance abusers.

Friday, January 19, 2018


Q&A: Professor Doherty on Mass Incarceration and the Continuum of Punishments

Fiona Doherty ’99 received tenure and was appointed Clinical Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


'Stark' Yale Law Study Findings Help Drive Parole Reform

Clinical Associate Professor of Law and director of the Criminal Justice Clinic Fiona Doherty ’99 and Theo Torres ’18 are quoted in an article about a report by the clinic on the parole revocation process in Connecticut.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Life on Parole

Clinical Associate Professor of Law Fiona Doherty ’99 is interviewed as part of a documentary titled “Life on Parole.”

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Eyewitness Identification Reform Focus of National Symposium

The National Symposium on Eyewitness Identification Reform brought together police officers, judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and policy makers to focus on the critical problem of eyewitness misidentification.

Monday, June 9, 2014


Fiona Doherty ’99 Awarded Yale Provost Teaching Prize

Clinical Associate Professor of Law Fiona Doherty ’99 was recently honored as one of the winners of the 2013-2014 Yale Provost’s Teaching Prize, which recognizes untenured Yale faculty who exemplify excellence in teaching. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Fiona Doherty ’99 to Join Law School Faculty in July as Clinical Associate Professor of Law

Fiona Doherty ’99 will join the Yale Law faculty in July 2012 as a Clinical Associate Professor of Law.

Fiona Doherty, Testing Periods and Outcome Determination in Criminal Cases, 103 Minn. L. Rev. 1699 (2019).

Fiona Doherty, Obey All Laws and Be Good: Probation and the Meaning of Recidivism, 104 Geo. L. J. 291 (2016).

Fiona Doherty, Indeterminate Sentencing Returns: The Invention of Supervised Release, 88 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 958 (2013).

Samuel Jacobs Criminal Justice Clinic, Parole Revocation in Connecticut: Opportunities to Reduce Incarceration (2017).