Aya Gruber's Bio

Aya Gruber is a professor at the University of Colorado Law School, where she teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, and critical theory. As a lifelong feminist, a former public defender, a professor of criminal law for eighteen years, and a survivor, she has personally and professionally grappled with the issue of feminism’s influence on criminal law for decades.  With her book, The Feminist War on Crime, Gruber seeks to engage the new generation of energized feminists who care deeply about women’s equality and ending mass incarceration.

Professor Gruber received her B.A. in philosophy from U.C. Berkeley, summa cum laude and her law degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was an editor on the Harvard Women’s Law Journal and founder of the Interracial Law Students’ Association. After law school, Professor Gruber clerked for U.S. District Court judge James L. King in Miami, Florida and then served as a felony trial attorney with the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C. and the Federal Public Defender in Miami.

Gruber joined the University of Colorado faculty in 2010. In 2012, the students honored her with the Outstanding New Faculty Member Award.  Gruber received Gilbert Goldstein fellowship for scholarship in 2015 and the Jules Milstein Award in 2017, given to the best recent faculty work of scholarship. Prior to Colorado, Gruber was a professor of law at the University of Iowa and a founding faculty member at Florida International University Law School. In 2017, Gruber was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School where she taught criminal law and a course on feminism and crime control.

Gruber’s writing primarily focuses on feminist efforts to strengthen criminal law responses to crimes against women. Her widely taught and frequently cited articles combine insights from practicing as a public defender with extensive research to articulate a feminist critique of authoritarian laws on violence against women. In addition to her writing on gender and crime, Professor Gruber has written a book on comparative criminal procedure, articles on treaty law and human rights, and articles on criminal procedure and privacy.

Professor Gruber was elected to membership in the American Law Institute in 2016 and has been an adviser to ALI Model Penal Code sexual assault project since 2012. A frequent public speaker on criminal justice, Professor Gruber has appeared on PBS, Fox News, ABC, and is quoted in various news outlets, including the New Yorker, Slate, and the New York Times.

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