Marah Stith McLeod

Marah Stith McLeod

Associate Professor of Law

Office: 2113 Eck Hall of Law
Phone: 574-631-5487
Staff Assistant: Beth Smith
CV: View
SSRN: View

Marah Stith McLeod teaches criminal law and criminal procedure and her scholarship explores legal and ethical problems in these areas. She is focused on ways to promote more informed and reasoned decisions, as well as more appropriate and effective distribution of decisional power within the criminal justice system. 

McLeod earned her bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University, and her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was notes editor for the Yale Law Journal. Prior to joining the Notre Dame faculty, McLeod held a fellowship and taught at Columbia Law School. 

After graduating from law school, McLeod clerked for Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas. 

Between her clerkships McLeod worked as an attorney-adviser in the Office of the Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she provided legal advice on constitutional questions and statutory challenges, especially in criminal matters. After her clerkship with Justice Thomas, she became a senior litigator at Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago, managing civil litigation and serving as pro bono counsel in several death penalty cases.

Courses Taught

Criminal Law
Criminal Adjudication
Plea Bargaining


The Death Penalty as Incapacitation, 104 Va. L. Rev. 1123 (2018) 
Does the Death Penalty Require Death Row? The Harm of Legislative Silence, 77 Ohio St. L.J. 525 (2016) 
Immigration Control: A Catholic Dilemma?, 84 U. Det. Mercy L. Rev. 73 (2007) 
The Semblance of Autonomy: Treatment of Persons with Disabilities Under the Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act, 22 Issues L. & Med. 39 (2006) 

Shorter Works 
White Paper of Democratic Criminal Justice, 111 Nw. L. Rev. 1693 (2017) (multiple authors)
A Humble Justice, 127 Yale L.J.F., 196 (2017) 
A Plebiscitary Bargain, 1 London L.R. 497 (2005)

Areas of Expertise

  • Catholic Social Teaching
  • Criminal Law & Procedure
  • Death Penalty