Paul Butler is the Albert Brick Professor in Law at Georgetown University Law Center and a legal analyst on MSNBC. During the 2017-18 academic year he was the Bennett Boskey Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. He holds an honorary Doctor of Law Degree from City University of New York.

Professor Butler is one of the nation’s most frequently consulted scholars on issues of race and criminal justice. His work has been profiled on 60 Minutes, Nightline, and The ABC, CBS and NBC Evening News. He lectures regularly for the American Bar Association and the NAACP, and at colleges, law schools, and community organizations throughout the United States. He serves on the District of Columbia Code Revision Commission as an appointee of the D.C. City Council.

Professor Butler’s scholarship has been published in many leading scholarly journals, including the Georgetown Law Journal, Yale Law Journal, Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review and the UCLA Law Review. He was named the Professor of the Year award three times by the GW graduating class. He was elected to the American Law Institute in 2003. Professor Butler’s book “Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice” received the Harry Chapin Media award.

His book “Chokehold: Policing Black Men” was published in July 2017. The Washington Post named it one of the 50 best non-fiction books of 2017. Chokehold was also named one of the best books of the year by Kirkus Reviews and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The New York Times described Chokehold as the best book on criminal justice reform since The New Jim Crow. It was a finalist for the 2018 NAACP Image Award for best non-fiction.

Professor Butler served as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, where his specialty was public corruption. His prosecutions included a United States Senator, three FBI agents, and several other law enforcement officials.

Professor Butler is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.


Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

Paul Butler, Black Masculinity and the Government, 2022 U. Chi. Legal F. 21-40. [WWW] [W]
Paul Butler, Sisters Gonna Work It Out: Black Women As Reformers and Radicals in the Criminal Legal System, 121 Mich. L. Rev. 1071-1087 (2023)(reviewing Derecka Purnell, Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom (2021) & Progressive Prosecution: Race and Reform in Criminal Justice (Kim Taylor-Thompson & Anthony C. Thompson eds., 2022)). [WWW] [HEIN] [W] [L]

Selected Contributions to Other Publications

Paul Butler, The Problem of State Violence, Daedalus, Winter 2022, at 22-37.

Book Chapters & Collected Works

Paul Butler, From “Fuck tha Police” to Defund the Police: A Polemic, with Elements of Pragmatism and Accommodation, Hopefully Not Fatal, As Black People Hope About Encounters with the Police, in Fight the Power: Law and Policy through Hip-Hop Songs 21-37 (Gregory S. Parks & Frank Rudy Cooper eds., New York: Cambridge University Press 2022).
Paul Butler, Terry v. Ohio, in Critical Race Judgments: Rewritten U.S. Court Opinions on Race and the Law 150-158 (Bennett Capers, Devon W. Carbado, R. A. Lenhardt & Angela Onwuachi-Willig eds., New York: Cambridge University Press 2022).