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Faculty: Rachel Van Cleave

Rachel Van Cleave
Rachel Van Cleave
Dean of the School of Law

Professor of Law

San Francisco
  • 415-442-6601


Comparative Criminal Justice

Criminal Law

Gender and the Law

Property, Wills & Trusts


Comparative Criminal Justice

Property/Wills & Trusts

State Constitutional Law


JSM, Stanford University School of Law

JD, Hastings College of the Law, University of California

BA, Stanford University


Interviewed on the Chicago Public Media station WBEZ on Italian rape law.

Clerked for the Hon. Sam D. Johnson, US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Austin.

J. Hadley Edgar Professor, Texas Tech University School of the Law.

Taught legal research and writing at Santa Clara University School of Law and Stanford University School of Law.

Studied Italian criminal justice system as a Fulbright Scholar.


Visit Professor Van Cleave's SSRN page.

Viewpoint: Time to Abolish the 'Inquisitorial' Grand Jury System, The Recorder, Dec. 31, 2014.

Learning From the Hope of Our Veterans, Daily Journal, Nov. 11, 2014.

Want to Learn to Think Like A Lawyer? It's 'Elementary'! The Recorder, Oct. 16, 2014.

Legal Education Takes Mentoring, Modeling and Trust, Daily Journal, Sept. 22, 2014.

Empathetic advocacy: law schools and our veterans, Daily Journal, June 3, 2014.

Your Career: A Path to Scholarship, the Recorder, Oct. 25, 2013.
Golden Gate Dean Rachel Van Cleave interviews Professor Benedetta Faedi Duramy about her journey through academia.

Engaging Work, Working While Engaged, on, June 9, 2014.

Viewpoint: Coming Together, Crafting Solutions, The Recorder, Oct. 17, 2013.

Value(s) of Lawyers, The Daily Journal, Sept. 24, 2013.

Practice Perfect, Spring/Summer GGU Lawyer 22 (2013).

Future of the Legal Profession, The Daily Journal (May 7, 2012).

Luogo e Spazio, Place and Space: Gender Law and Democracy in Italy, 42 Univ. of Baltimore L. Rev. 329 (2013).

Promoting Experiential Learning at Golden Gate University School of Law, ch. 6 in Reforming Legal Education (Information Age Publishing, 2012).

Engaging the Legal Academy in Disaster Response, 10 Seattle J. for Social Justice 211 (2011). Written by Rachel van Cleave, et al.

A Primer for Teaching Law as an Adjunct Professor, The Recorder, May 18, 2011. This article was also published under a slightly different title on May 10, 2011 and in The Legal Intelligence on May 27, 2011.

So You Want To Teach Law, The Recorder, May 10, 2011.

Justice Carter's Dissent in People v. Gonzalez: Protecting Against the "Tyranny of Totalitarianism", ch. in The Great Dissents of the "Lone Dissenter": Justice Jesse W. Carter's Twenty Tumultuous Years on the California Supreme Court (Carolina Academic Press, 2010).

Karen Lee Hawkins: Untaxed Creativity, ch. in Profiles In Prominence (Golden Gate Univ. 2009).

Renaissance Redux? Chastity and Punishment in Italian Rape Law, 6 Ohio State J. of Crim. Law 335 (2008).

Mapping Proportionality Review: Still a "Road to Nowhere," 43 Tulsa L. Rev. (Symposium: Supreme Court Review) 709 (2008).

Rape and the Querela in Italy: False Protection of Victim Agency, 13 Michigan J. of Gender & Law 273 (2007).

Italy, ch. 9 in Criminal Procedure: A Worldwide Study. Bradley, Craig M., ed. (2007).

Property Lessons in August Wilson's The Piano Lesson and the Wake of Hurricane Katrina, 43 Cal. W. L. Rev. 97 (2006).

Sex, Lies, and Honor in Italian Rape Law, 38 Suffolk U. L.R. 427 (2005).

Does the Phrase "Convicted in Any Court" in a Firearms Law Include Foreign Convictions? 2004-2005 US Sup. Ct. Cas. 85 (2004-2005).

"Death is Different" - Is Money Different? Criminal Punishments, Forfeitures, and Punitive Damages: Shifting Constitutional Paradigms for Assessing Proportionality, 12 USC Interdisciplinary L.J. 217 (2003).

When is a Court "Punishing" Out-of-State Conduct Rather than Merely "Considering" Such Conduct? 2002-2003 US Sup. Ct. Cas. 124 (2002-2003).

When Does a Retroactive Decrease in the Frequency of Parole Reconsideration Hearings Violate the Ex Post Facto Clause? 1999-2000 US Sup. Ct. Cas. 191.

Does the Ex Post Facto Clause Bar Texas From Retroactively Limited the Need for Proof That a Sex Offense Victim Made an "Outcry"? 1999-2000 US Sup. Ct. Cas. 136.

The Role of United States Federal Courts in Extradition Matters: The Rule of Non-Inquiry, Preventive Detention and Comparative Legal Analysis, 13 Temp. Int'l & Comp. L.J. 27 (1999).

Advancing Tolerance and Equality Using State Constitutions: Are the Boy Scouts Prepared? 29 Stetson L. Rev. 237 (1999).

Must Jury Instructions Clearly Explain the Consequences of a Jury's Failure to Reach a Unanimous Verdict as to Either Life Imprisonment or Death? 1998-1999 US Sup. Ct. Cas. 272.

State Constitutional Interpretation and Methodology, 28 N.M. L. Rev. 199 (1998).

Criminal Law, 29 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 527 (1998).

An Offer You Can't Refuse? Punishment Without Trial in Italy and the United States: The Search for Truth and an Efficient Criminal Justice System, 11 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 419 (1997).

A Matter of Evidence or of Law? Battered Women Claiming Self-Defense in California, 5 UCLA Women's L.J. 217 (1994).

When is an Error Not an "Error"? Habeas Corpus and Cumulative Error Analysis, 46 Baylor L. Rev. 59 (1994).

A Constitution in Conflict: The Doctrine of Independent State Grounds and the Voter Initiative in California, 21 Hastings Const. L. Q. 95 (1993).


At a vigil held September 17, 2012, at UC Hastings, GGU Law Interim Dean Rachel Van Cleave shared special memories of Ambassador Chris Stevens, a personal friend and former classmate, who was killed last week when the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya was bombed.

Read the Eulogy