Professor Thea Johnson named Runner-Up for 2019 AALS Section on Criminal Justice Junior Scholar Award

Associate Professor Thea JohnsonThe Association of American Law Schools (AALS) recently announced the winners of its 2019 section awards for excellence in legal education.

Thea Johnson, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Maine School of Law, has been named the runner-up for the “Section on Criminal Justice Junior Scholar Award” for her most recent paper, “Fictional Pleas.” Her paper is forthcoming in the Indiana Law Journal, and can be downloaded on SSRN. The award will be presented to her during the 2019 AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

Professor Johnson joined Maine Law as an Associate Professor of Law in January 2017. She teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and a Criminal Law Seminar on plea bargaining. Like much of her scholarship, “Fictional Pleas” is an exploration of how relevant stakeholders make decisions about how and when to plea bargain. The article explores the use of pleas of conviction that are untethered from the underlying facts of the case in order to assist defendants in avoiding severe non-criminal penalties, like sex offender registration and immigration consequences.

“AALS sections are an important way for both law professors and administrators to come together to support, celebrate, and learn from one another,” said Wendy Perdue, AALS President and Dean of University of Richmond School of Law in the release from the AALS. “The honorees from our sections represent the utmost dedication to law students, legal education, and scholarship in many areas of the law.”

The complete list of section award winners is available on the AALS website.