I am a third-year Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where I work at the intersection of law and the social sciences using quantitative and qualitative methods. I have a PhD in Sociology from Stanford University and a JD from Stanford Law School.
Currently I’m working on a series of projects about parole hearings for California’s lifer inmates. Drawing on in-depth interviews with parole commissioners as well as an unusual dataset drawn from hundreds of parole hearing transcripts, I’m looking at issues such as assessment of remorse and which factors matter most in parole decision outcomes.
I recently published a book, How to Be Sort of Happy in Law School (Stanford University Press, 2018) which draws on surveys and interviews with more than 1100 law students from over 100 law schools. The book talks about law students’ experiences related to diversity, goals, productivity, and more. Check out sortofhappy.com for info about the book, including reviews from Dahlia Lithwick of Slate, bestselling novelist Ruth Ozeki, Stanford Law Professor Pam Karlan, and others.
My additional areas of interest include criminal procedure, evidence, legal consciousness, and gender and masculinity. I publish in law reviews and social science journals; you can see a list of my publications here or on Research Gate.
Since arriving at UMass Amherst, I’ve designed and taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses, including Policing and Surveillance, Law & Society, and The Law, Logic, and Social Science of Courtroom Evidence. In 2018, I won UMass’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the university’s highest teaching honor.
Kathryne M. Young talks about her book, How to Be Sort of Happy in Law School, which talks about what alumni would advise their younger self and how to get along with your fellow students.
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