Faculty: Jyoti Nanda

Jyoti Nanda

Associate Professor of Law
San Francisco
Jyoti Nanda

Jyoti Nanda studies criminal law and juvenile law with a focus on how legal actors, institutions and doctrines have responded, or failed to respond, to the dramatic expansion of the carceral state. She is interested in the intersections of criminal law and social hierarchies shaped by race, age, gender, dis/ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and immigration. Her research draws on her background in Ethnic Studies and her experience as a youth advocate and civil rights lawyer to provide a better understanding of the contemporary legal practices within the historical context of racial and economic inequality in the United States. Nanda is the American Bar Association (ABA) nominated Reporter/Author for the forthcoming Juvenile Justice National Standards, and her research and writing have been featured in national press in print, TV, and radio.

Before coming to GGU Law, Nanda was the Binder Clinical Teaching Fellow at UCLA Law School where she founded the Youth & Justice Clinic. Prior to that, she taught Legal Research & Writing, numerous public interest courses, a seminar on the criminalization of girls of color with Distinguished Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw and served as a lead faculty member in both the Critical Race Studies and Epstein Public Interest Law Programs. She started her career as a Skadden Fellow and civil rights attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Nanda is a graduate of Northwestern Law and U.C. Berkeley. Born in Nairobi, she is a proud immigrant and the daughter of parents who were refugees and immigrants from Pakistan/India and Kenya.


  • Criminal Law
  • Juvenile Law
  • Criminal Law 
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Youth & Justice
  • Rebellious Lawyering


  • Criminal Law
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Youth & Justice seminar
  • Rebellious Lawyering


  • BA, University of California, Berkeley
  • JD, Northwestern University School of Law


  • Currently involved in an education project to address the knowledge gaps about the justice system for youth in the Los Angeles delinquency system that she plans to scale statewide
  • Sits on the Leadership Advisory Board of the Children’s Defense Fund, California.
  • Initiated and co-lead, in partnership with the African American Policy Forum, two public hearings on the unmet needs of girls and women of color in Los Angeles (2014 & 2019).
  • Co-Faculty Director of the Critical Race Studies Program at UCLA School of Law.
  • Associate Professor, UCLA School of Law and Binder Clinical Teaching Fellow.
  • Founded and ran the UCLA School of Law Youth & Justice Clinic.
  • UCLA School of Law, Binder Clinical Teaching Fellow & Lecturer in Law, Core Faculty, Epstein Program in Public Interest Law & Policy, Faculty Co-Chair, Critical Race Studies Program  (2003-2018). Taught r 600 students in doctrinal, clinical and writing courses.
  • Youth & Justice Clinic, Founded & Taught students in a legal clinic designed to serve unmet civil needs of youth in Los Angeles County (2014-2019)
  • Girls Hearing: Breaking the Silence Co-Lead with the African American Policy Forum (2015 & 2019)
  • Introduction to Lawyer Client Relationship, Co-Designed and Taught (2016-2018)
  • NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), Skadden Fellow/Staff Attorney (2001-2003)




  • PACE All About Girls National Summit (March 2019, Florida) (Keynote on Opening Panel: Systems Reform)
  • America Association of Law Schools (AALS), Section on Clinical Legal Education Teaching Racial Justice (July 2019)
  • UCLA School of Law Review Discourse Symposium, Sick of the System:  Health and Wellness in the Carceral State (November 2017) (Moderator on Opening Panel: Vulnerable Populations in the Carceral State: Addressing the Health Needs of Immigrants, Juveniles, and Aging Adults)
  • Georgetown Law School Juvenile Justice Initiative/National Juvenile Defender Center, The Right to Remain Children: Race and Juvenile Justice 50 Years After Gault (May 2017) (Invited Panelist on Girls Panel)
  • Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Clinical Conference Plenary: Tacking into the Wind: Incorporating Social Upheaval into Clinics and Podium Teaching as the Country Becomes Increasingly Polarized (May 2017) (Panelist)  
  • Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Los Angeles, Black History Month (2017) (Featured Speaker)
  • REPAIR, UCLA Disability Studies, Damaging Minds and Bodies, Trauma, Violence and the Criminal Justice System (2017) (Organizer/Panelist) 
  • UCLA School of Law Critical Race Studies Program, Is Separation the Solution: A Convening to Discuss the Theory and Practice of Gender-Based School Reforms for At-Risk Students of Color (May 2016) (Invited Panelist)
  • Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Board Meeting, Motion on Juvenile Indigent Defense (April 5, 2016) (Invited by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to speak in support of Motion)
  • UCI School of Law, Southern California Clinical Faculty Workshop (2016) (Invited to comment, scholarly paper)
  • Loyola Law School Center for Juvenile Law and Policy, Inequities in Public Education: A Legal Perspective  (April 2016) (Invited Panelist)
  • Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office 34th Annual Juvenile Delinquency Law Training (2016) (Trainer)
  • White House Council on Women & Girls (and the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University), Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color: A Research Agenda for the Next Decade (November 2015) (Invited Panelist)
  • UCLA School of Law, Sexual Assault and the Campus: The Role of Title IX (November 2015) (Moderator)



  • Received the UCLA School of Law Public Interest Award from UCLA for building a Public Interest community for 16 years.
  • Received the Trailblazer Award from the South Asian Bar Association Bar Association, 2014.
  • Received the Dream of Los Angeles Award from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, 2012.


  • The Guardian, Kamala Harris: can a 'top cop' win over progressives in 2020? Jan. 19, 2019. (quoted)
  • The Vox, Why Kamala Harris is under attack for a decade-old anti-truancy program Feb. 7, 2019 (quoted)
  • NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO (KPCC), Take Two (Radio Talk Show), Interviewed on impact of Los Angeles County.  Board of Supervisor’s decision to end the practice of juvenile solitary confinement.  May 4, 2016.
  • NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO (KPCC), Lawyers Reveal What Compton School Trauma Reforms May Look Like. April 1, 2016. (Asked to comment on impact of lawsuit). 
  • BLUE PRINT MAGAZINE, (INAUGURAL ISSUE), Child Criminals: A Legacy of Failure, a Chance for Progress, Scott Fields, Spring 2015 (Commented on the unintended consequences of locking up juvenile offenders). 
  • UCLA DAILY BRUIN, UCLA Researchers Seek to Influence Policy Change Across Diverse Fields, Chandani Soni, June 7, 2015 (Interviewed on current research on girls of color in the American justice system).  
  • HUMBOLDT STATE UNIVERSITY (HSU), UNIVERSITY BLOG, Jyoti Nanda Speaks at HSU, Connor Amans, April 21, 2015 (Article & Video from Keynote Presentation at HSU).  Blog Post: https://the120newshum.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/jyoti-nanda-speaks-hsu-2/  
  • COLORLINES, L.A. Girls and Women of Color Demand to Be Heard Amidst My Brother's Keeper, Julianne Hing, August 1, 2014 (Quoted on need to collect data on girls of color in Los Angeles in criminal justice systems).
  • The L.A. Daily Journal, Release Pregnant Girls From Juvenile Hall Now, April 7, 2020 (Co-authored with Tali Gires)