Richard Lorren Jolly

Associate Professor of Law

Image - Professor Jolly

B.A., distinction, Political Science & Mass Communications, University of California, Berkeley, 2009
M.Sc., merit, Political Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2010
J.D., magna cum laude, University of Michigan Law School, 2014

Member, California State Bar, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of California

Joined Southwestern: Summer 2021


Appointed to the Southwestern Law School faculty in 2021, Richard Lorren Jolly teaches in the areas of civil and criminal procedure, evidence, and torts. Professor Jolly brings nearly a decade of experience in legal practice, policy, and research into the classroom. This allows him to provide students with a learning experience focused on tying legal theories to their real-world applications.

“The law must not be approached as if it is separate from the people it impacts. To ignore this principle risks harm not only to the people but also to the law.”

Professor Jolly’s research primarily focuses on issues of public and private procedure. Specifically, he is interested in how parties customize procedures through contractual agreement in ways that can enhance or undermine the integrity of judicial institutions and the substantive development of law. As part of this theme, much of his writing focuses on the socio-political and structural role of lay participation in judicial decision-making, namely through the use and nonuse of grand, civil, and criminal juries. His scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in journals including the Michigan Law Review, Boston College Law Review, Pepperdine Law Review, and DePaul Law Review.

Prior to joining Southwestern, Professor Jolly gained extensive practice experience litigating complex commercial disputes, consumer and securities class actions, and government enforcement actions at leading law firms in Los Angeles, California. He also conducted academic research as a fellow for the Civil Justice Research Initiative at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law and for the Civil Jury Project at New York University School of Law. Before that, he clerked for the Honorable Deborah L. Cook of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Akron, Ohio.

Born and raised in Southern California, Professor Jolly was drawn to Southwestern by the opportunity to help train the next generation of lawyers in his hometown. He strives to impress upon his students that the law does not exist pristinely in textbooks and treatises, but instead in the messy, lived experiences of all who come in contact with it. Recognizing and respecting this will lead to better advocacy, a richer career, and a more just society.