Rachel Barkow

Prof. Rachel Barkow

Segal Family Professor of Regulatory Law and Policy, New York University School of Law

Rachel Barkow is the Segal Family Professor of Regulatory Law and Policy and the Faculty Director of the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law at NYU. In June of 2013, the Senate confirmed her as a Member of the United States Sentencing Commission. Since 2010, she has also been a member of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office Conviction Integrity Policy Advisory Panel.

Professor Barkow teaches courses in criminal law, administrative law, and constitutional law. In 2013, she was the recipient of the NYU Distinguished Teaching Award. The Law School awarded her its Podell Distinguished Teaching Award in 2007.

Her scholarship focuses on criminal law, and she is especially interested in applying the lessons and theory of administrative and constitutional law to the administration of criminal justice. She has written more than 20 articles that span a range of topics. She has written several articles on sentencing, including the relationship between modern sentencing laws and the constitutional role of the criminal jury; federalism and the politics of sentencing; the role of cost-benefit and risk tradeoff analysis in sentencing policy; what institutional model works for designing agencies that regulate criminal punishment; the political factors that lead to guideline and commission formation; and the flawed bifurcation between capital and noncapital constitutional sentencing jurisprudence. Professor Barkow has also explored in numerous articles the role of prosecutors in the criminal justice system. For example, she has analyzed how the lessons of institutional design from administrative law could improve the way prosecutors' offices are structured; she has looked to organizational guidelines and compliance programs as a model for prosecutorial oversight; and she has considered the increasing role of prosecutors as regulators through the conditions they place on corporations. Professor Barkow has also explored larger structural questions of how criminal justice is administered in the United States. In a series of major articles, she has explored the relationship between separation of powers and the criminal law and the relationship between federalism and the criminal law. Professor Barkow has also considered the role of mercy and clemency in criminal justice, paying particular attention to the relationship between administrative law's dominance and the increasing reluctance of scholars and experts to accept pockets of unreviewable discretion in criminal law.

Barkow has been invited to present her work in various settings. In the summer of 2009, Barkow testified before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection regarding the institutional design of the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Barkow testified before the United States Sentencing Commission at a 2009 regional hearing on the 25th Anniversary of the Sentencing Reform Act. In the summer of 2004, Barkow testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing on the future of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. She has also presented her work on sentencing to the National Association of Sentencing Commissions Conference, the Federal Judicial Center's National Sentencing Policy Institute, and the Judicial Conference of the Courts of Appeals for the First and Seventh Circuits. In addition, Barkow has presented papers at numerous law schools.

After graduating from Northwestern University (B.A. 1993), Barkow attended Harvard Law School (J.D. 1996), where she won the Sears Prize, which is awarded annually to two students with the top overall grade averages in the first-year class. Barkow served as a law clerk to Judge Laurence H. Silberman on the District of Columbia Circuit, and Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. Barkow was an associate at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, PLLC, in Washington, D.C., from 1998-2002, where she focused on telecommunications and administrative law issues in proceedings before the FCC, state regulatory agencies, and federal and state courts. She took a leave from the firm in 2001 to serve as the John M. Olin Fellow in Law at Georgetown University Law Center.



  • B.A., Northwestern University
  • J.D., Harvard Law School

2017 National Lawyers Convention

Administrative Agencies and the Regulatory State

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC 20036
Speakers: Neil GorsuchDonald McGahnJefferson B. SessionsR. Alexander AcostaJonathan H. AdlerJohn S. BakerAditya BamzaiRachel BarkowSteven G. CalabresiDaniel A. CraneGregory DolinSusan E. DudleyJohn C. EastmanTheodore H. FrankDeborah A. GarzaHeather K. GerkenStephen GillersC. Boyden GrayMichael S. GrevePhilip A. HamburgerJohn C. HarrisonLisa HeinzerlingGail HeriotPeter KirsanowDonald J. KochanGary LawsonRoslyn LaytonVictoria A. LipnicJennifer L. MascottJohn O. McGinnisGillian E. MetzgerMichael B. MukaseyKen PaxtonRobert V. PercivalArti K. RaiNeomi RaoRonald D. RotundaHal S. ScottTheodore M. ShawRodney SmollaIlya SominRobert Greene SternePeter L. StraussJeffrey S. SuttonStuart S. TaylorGeorge J. TerwilligerKate Comerford ToddJonathan R. TurleyEugene VolokhPeter J. WallisonEdward WhelanKeith E. WhittingtonArthur E. WilmarthWilliam H. PryorDavid M. McIntoshF. Scott KieffDavid StrasDiane S. SykesRachel L. BrandNathan A. SalesDavid BarronA. Raymond RandolphG. Barry AndersonKevin C. NewsomJohn F. DuffyMichael W. McConnellR. Shep MelnickMichael P. VandenberghPaulette BrownBrendan Thomas CarrHeather ChildsNicholas GealeAdam GelbRobert HanniganAugust HanningJonathan S. KanterPaul Alan LevyLibby LockePhilip A. MiscimarraMark L. RienziMelissa Rogers
Topics: Federalism & Separation of Powers
Sponsors: Washington DC Lawyers ChapterDC Young Lawyers ChapterCapitol Hill ChapterAdministrative Law & Regulation Practice GroupCivil Rights Practice GroupCorporations, Securities & Antitrust Practice GroupCriminal Law & Procedure Practice GroupEnvironmental Law & Property Rights Practice GroupFederalism & Separation of Powers Practice GroupFinancial Services & E-Commerce Practice GroupFree Speech & Election Law Practice GroupIntellectual Property Practice GroupInternational & National Security Law Practice GroupLabor & Employment Law Practice GroupLitigation Practice GroupProfessional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice GroupReligious Liberties Practice GroupTelecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group
2016 National Lawyers Convention

2016 National Lawyers Convention

The Mayflower Hotel 1127 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20036
Speakers: Thomas W. MerrillRichard A. EpsteinWilliam H. PryorJohn C. HarrisonGary LawsonJoan LarsenMichael W. McConnellNelson LundDavid F. ForteAkhil Reed AmarNicholas Quinn RosenkranzMichael S. PaulsenMark PerryJennifer Walker ElrodRichard E. WileyThomas M. HardimanVincent Phillip MunozSandra Segal IkutaMichael O'SheaLisa HeinzerlingJohn A. AllisonLuther StrangeMark BrnovichWilliam KuntzDon WillettAbbe R. GluckPatrick MorriseyRon DeSantisPaul LarkinAdam KleinSusan G. BradenSeth HarrisOrin S. KerrPaul D. ClementJohn S. BakerRonald A. CassDiarmuid F. O'ScannlainFrank H. EasterbrookWilliam N. EskridgeAdam MossoffDouglas H. GinsburgRoger PilonJonathan R. TurleyJohn C. EastmanCarlos T. BeaSaikrishna B. PrakashKannon K. ShanmugamEugene ScaliaIlya SominJerry E. SmithDiane S. SykesStephen J. MarkmanMichael UhlmannRichard W. GarnettPatrick A. ParenteauR CruzWilliam P. MarshallSamuel A. AlitoClarence ThomasNadine StrossenEugene VolokhNoel J. FranciscoJames W. ElyAllison EidStephanos BibasBrian FitzpatrickEdith H. JonesDavid StrasRoderick M. HillsTodd ZywickiStephen I. VladeckArthur D. HellmanBill SamuelJeffrey S. SuttonRachel BarkowJoshua SarnoffC HemphillSteven CollotonE ElliottFloyd AbramsVictoria NoursePhil GrammRaymond KethledgeBradford R. ClarkDeepak GuptaDeborah A. GarzaAdam LaxaltBen SasseKimberley A. StrasselLeonard N. ChaninElizabeth GoiteinHenry GoldbergDavid J. KapposToni MassaroLawrence SolumMark FloydRandel K. JohnsonNikki HaleyDeborah L. RhodeAllan Rostron
Topics: Federalism & Separation of Powers
Sponsors: DC Young Lawyers ChapterWashington DC Lawyers ChapterAdministrative Law & Regulation Practice GroupCivil Rights Practice GroupCorporations, Securities & Antitrust Practice GroupCriminal Law & Procedure Practice GroupEnvironmental Law & Property Rights Practice GroupFederalism & Separation of Powers Practice GroupFinancial Services & E-Commerce Practice GroupFree Speech & Election Law Practice GroupIntellectual Property Practice GroupInternational & National Security Law Practice GroupLabor & Employment Law Practice GroupLitigation Practice GroupProfessional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice GroupReligious Liberties Practice GroupTelecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group
Government Enforcement in the Financial Sector

Government Enforcement in the Financial Sector

Jerome Greene Hall 104
New York, New York 10027
Speakers: Richard SullivanJonathan R. MaceyPhilip A. HamburgerJoseph BiancoMatthew T. MartensMichael B. MukaseyRachel BarkowGillian E. MetzgerAndrew CeresneySean CaseyNic BourtinJoon KimGeorge CanellosRaymond LohierGillian Lester
Topics: Criminal Law & Procedure • Financial Services & E-Commerce
Sponsors: Columbia Student Chapter
Criminal Law and the Administrative State: Defining and Enforcing Regulatory Crimes

Criminal Law and the Administrative State: Defining and Enforcing Regulatory Crimes

Hart Senate Office Building Room 902
Washington, District of Columbia 20510
Speakers: John G. MalcolmMichael S. LeeMatthew Lee WienerLee Liberman OtisWilliam N. ShepherdGeorge J. TerwilligerRonald A. CassJames R. CoplandRena I. SteinzorRachel BarkowSusan R. KleinDaniel Richman
Topics: Criminal Law & Procedure • Federalism & Separation of Powers
Sponsors: Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group
2013 National Lawyers Convention

2013 National Lawyers Convention

The Mayflower Hotel 1127 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20036
Speakers: Stephen F. WilliamsJeremy A. RabkinScott WalkerMartin Neil BailyScott W. JohnsonAbbe R. GluckPatrick MorriseyEdith Brown ClementJennifer Walker ElrodThomas M. HardimanWilliam H. PryorAshley KellerErin RyanMichael S. LeeJ. Harvie WilkinsonThomas O. BarnettPaul J. BeardDavid D. ColeJohn F. DuffyRichard A. EpsteinMiguel EstradaJörg FedtkeRichard W. FieldsPhilip A. HamburgerJohn O. McGinnisKenneth L. MarcusThomas W. MerrillJide Okechuku NzelibeNicholas Quinn RosenkranzPaul RosenzweigKyle DuncanWilliam KuntzR CruzStewart E. SterkNadine StrossenDiane S. SykesEugene VolokhJoshua D. WrightJohn C. YooLeonard A. LeoThomas B. GriffithDavid M. McIntoshEugene B. MeyerA. Raymond RandolphJerry E. SmithDavid StrasTimothy M. TymkovichMargaret (Peggy) LittleAlan B. MorrisonThomas D. MorganRobert E. LitanEric M. FreedmanWilliam A. GalstonJonathan T. MolotRachel BarkowF. Scott KieffRobert MikosMichael B. MukaseyRichard PrimusJonathan R. TurleyWilliam R. YeomansBrett M. KavanaughPaul S. AtkinsCarlos T. BeaEdith H. JonesRaymond KethledgeDiarmuid F. O'ScannlainVincent VitkowskySteven G. BradburyTimothy P. CarneyJohn ElwoodBurt NeuborneJohn N. RaudabaughElizabeth WydraClarence ThomasNeil GorsuchJ WilkinsonIJonathan H. AdlerMarvin AmmoriJohn S. BakerDavid BaltoRandy E. BarnettDavid BarronJohn BeisnerMitchell N. BermanLillian R. BeVierStephanos BibasJoel F. BrennerRoger B. CleggFrank H. EasterbrookJohn C. EastmanWilliam N. EskridgeNoel J. FranciscoRobert P. GeorgeDouglas H. GinsburgRandall GuynnKristin HickmanJames L. HuffmanAndrew KoppelmanMartin S. LedermanAdam LiptakJane MagoVictoria NourseEileen J. O'ConnorMaureen K. OhlhausenWalter K. OlsonAjit V. PaiMichelle RichardsonJ RoschJoshua SarnoffDavid S. SchoenbrodReva SiegelPaul D. ClementGeorge J. TerwilligerSeth P. WaxmanJohn Fund
Topics: Civil Rights • Free Speech & Election Law • Criminal Law & Procedure • Corporations, Securities & Antitrust • Labor & Employment Law • Religious Liberties • Intellectual Property • Administrative Law & Regulation • Federalism & Separation of Powers • Environmental Law & Property Rights • International & National Security Law • Telecommunications & Electronic Media • Litigation • Professional Responsibility & Legal Education
Sponsors: DC Young Lawyers ChapterWashington DC Lawyers ChapterCapitol Hill ChapterEnvironmental Law & Property Rights Practice GroupHampton Roads Lawyers ChapterAdministrative Law & Regulation Practice GroupCivil Rights Practice GroupCorporations, Securities & Antitrust Practice GroupCriminal Law & Procedure Practice GroupFederalism & Separation of Powers Practice GroupFinancial Services & E-Commerce Practice GroupFree Speech & Election Law Practice GroupIntellectual Property Practice GroupInternational & National Security Law Practice GroupLabor & Employment Law Practice GroupLitigation Practice GroupProfessional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice GroupReligious Liberties Practice GroupTelecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group