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 joined Notre Dame Law School in 2016. She teaches criminal law and criminal procedure and studies legal and ethical problems in these areas. Her scholarship explores the distribution of decisional power in the criminal justice system and the theory and practice of criminal punishment, including the death penalty.

McLeod attended Yale Law School, where she was notes editor of the Yale Law Journal. She served as a law clerk to Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and to Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court. She also served an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice.

After her government work, McLeod joined Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago and became a civil litigator and pro bono counsel in death penalty cases. She taught legal writing at Columbia Law School prior to coming to Notre Dame.

McLeod studied political theory at Harvard University, after which she spent a year working with Mother Teresa’s sisters in a home for handicapped orphans in Kolkata, India. McLeod now has four beloved children of her own.

Courses Taught

Criminal Law
Criminal Adjudication
Plea Bargaining


Preventing Undeserved Punishment, Notre Dame Law Review, Forthcoming
Communicating Punishment, 100 B.U. L. Rev. 2263 (2020)
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