Professor Meares Receives Fellowship from Russell Sage Foundation


Tracey L. Meares, the Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law and Founding Director of The Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School, has been named a 2023–24 Visiting Scholar by the Russell Sage Foundation. The fellowship brings together leading scholars in the social sciences to pursue their writing and research while in residence at the foundation’s headquarters in New York.

Meares will co-author, with Benjamin Justice, a book that examines how experiences in the criminal legal system affect the civic identities of legally innocent people. Their work will draw upon law, history, and the social sciences to assess three phases of American justice: policing, pretrial detention, and adjudication. Justice is a Professor in the Department of Educational Theory, Policy, and Administration at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. He is also a Senior Research Scholar and member of the Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School. He and Meares have previously collaborated on three peer-reviewed articles, most recently, “Does the law recognize legal socialization?” in the Journal of Social Issues.

Meares is a nationally recognized expert on policing in urban communities. Her research considers how members of the public think about their relationships with legal authorities such as police, prosecutors, and judges. Meares teaches courses on criminal procedure, criminal law, and policy. She has worked extensively with the federal government, having served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Law and Justice, a National Research Council standing committee, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs Science Advisory Board.

Before joining the faculty at Yale Law School, Meares was a professor at the University of Chicago Law School from 1995 to 2007, serving as Max Pam Professor and Director of the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice. She was the first African American woman to be granted tenure at both Yale Law School and the University of Chicago Law School.

In April 2019, Meares was elected as a member to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In December 2014, President Obama named her a member of his Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

The Russell Sage Foundation awarded fellowships to 18 visiting scholars for the next academic year. The incoming group also includes Julie Suk ’03, Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law.

Founded by Margaret Olivia Sage in 1907, the Russell Sage Foundation is dedicated to “the improvement of social and living conditions in the United States.” The foundation advances scholarship in the social sciences, offers support to scholars, and maintains its own publishing imprint.