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Kim Taylor, expert in criminal law, appointed to the Stanford Law School faculty

STANFORD -- Kim A. Taylor, former director of the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia, has joined the faculty of Stanford Law School.

Her appointment as an associate professor of law was officially reported to the Stanford University Board of Trustees on Feb. 11.

"Prof. Taylor comes to the school following a distinguished career as a criminal lawyer and brings much-needed expertise in criminal law and procedure," said Paul Brest, dean of the law school.

Taylor has been teaching at the law school since the beginning of the fall term in September 1991.

She is the first African American woman and third African American person to become a member of the law school's 45-member permanent faculty.

With the concurrent appointment of Janet E. Halley, the school now has eight women on its faculty.

Taylor has 10 years of experience in the field of criminal defense, the last three as director of the D.C. Public Defender Service.

The Washington agency, which has more than 75 attorneys on staff, is one of the country's leading public defender services. Its caseload includes about two-thirds of the most serious felonies in the nation's capital, including an increasing number of complex murder cases.

Taylor is generally credited with having improved the morale and effectiveness of the agency during her three years at the helm.

She also has served on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College and, in 1990, as a Fellow in Professional Responsibility at Yale Law School.

She has taught or lectured at Yale, Georgetown and Harvard, and in a number of professional education programs. In 1988, she became a barrister of the American Inn of Court.

Taylor received her law degree (J.D.) in 1980 from Yale, where she was a semifinalist in the Barristers' Union Trial Competition.

While in law school, she participated in the Danbury Prison Project of the Yale Legal Services Organization.

Taylor earned her undergraduate degree at Brown University, receiving her B.A. in 1977 with departmental honors in English and American literature.

She had entered Brown as a National Merit finalist and a New York Regents Scholar.

Taylor began her legal career as a practicing attorney with Crowell & Moring of Washington, D.C., where she worked on litigation cases.

Her decade with the Public Defender Service, which she joined in 1981, exposed Taylor to all phases of court proceedings in both criminal and family courts.

Starting as a staff attorney, she advanced to the directorship of the Public Defender Service in 1988 after serving as deputy chief of its trial division (1986-87) and director of its attorney training activities (1987-88).

The latter position involved conducting a six-week program for the entering class of staff attorneys, monthly sessions for outside attorneys interested in representing indigents under the Criminal Justice Act, and some continuing education of staff attorneys.

On a national level, she is a member of the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Council and vice chair of its Indigent Defense Services Committee.

In addition, she is on the board of directors of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association and chair of its Defender Committee.

Also a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, she is vice chair of its committee on the Delivery of Legal Services to Indigent Defendants.

Taylor's teaching subjects at Stanford Law School are criminal law and procedure, and ethics in the criminal justice system.



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