Marybeth Herald

Marybeth Herald
Marybeth Herald
Professor of Law
J.D., Harvard University, cum laude;
B.A., Michigan State University, with high honors
Phone: (619) 961-4257


After a clerkship with the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Professor Herald worked as a staff attorney at Micronesian Legal Services Corporation in the Mariana Islands in the western Pacific. She then began a private law firm in the Mariana Islands, engaging in a general law practice for six years with an emphasis in trial and appellate work. She served as counsel to several public agencies and corporations. She joined the TJSL faculty in 1991 and served as Associate Dean from 1994 to 2002.

Professor Herald latest work is Your Brain and Law School (forthcoming 2014), which translates the latest research on the brain into practical advice for students in law school. She has also published numerous articles exploring constitutional issues relating to the First Amendment, gender, the intersection of law and psychology, and the legal and political status of U.S. territories. Her most recent articles discuss cognitive biases implicit in judicial decisions about gender. Professor Herald was recognized by her peers as one of San Diego's Top Attorneys in Academics for 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011-13.

Courses include:

Advanced Constitutional Law, Constitutional Law, Law and Psychology.


Your Brain and Law School: A Context and Practice Book (Carolina Academic Press 2014)

Articles, Book Chapters, And Article-Length Works

Teaching Constitutional Law Using Popular Culture, in Teaching Law with Popular Culture (Christine Corcos ed., Carolina Academic Press, forthcoming 2017)

Getting Students Psyched: Using Psychology to Encourage Classroom Participation, 15 Nev. L.J. 744 (2015), available at

Book Review “I Mean to Succeed:" Clara Foltz and the Reinvention of Self, 53 Am. J. Legal Hist. 131 (with Sandra Rierson) (2013)

Situations, Frames, and Stereotype: Cognitive Barriers on the Road to Nondiscrimination?, 17 Mich. J. Gender & L. 39 (2010), available at

Beyond the Binary: What Can Feminists Learn From Intersex and Transgender Jurisprudence?, 17 Mich. J. Gender & L. 13 (with Julie Greenberg and Mark Strasser) (2010), available at

Explaining the Differences: Transgender Theories and Court Practice, in Queer Mobilizations: LGBT Activists Confront the Law (Scott Barclay, Mary Bernstein, and Anna-Marie Marshall, eds.) (2009)

Deceptive Appearances: Judges, Cognitive Bias, and Dress Codes, 41 U.S.F. L. Rev. 299 (2007), available at

You Can’t Take it With You: Constitutional Consequences of Interstate Gender Identity Rulings, 80 Wash. L. Rev. 819 (with Julie Greenberg) (2005), available at

Eyes Wide Shut: Erasing Women’s Experience from the Clinic to the Courtroom, 28 Harv. Women's L.J. 285 (with Ellen Waldman) (2005), available at

Transgender Theory: Reprogramming Our Automated Settings, 28 T. Jefferson L. Rev. 167 (2005), available at

A Bedroom of One's Own: Law and Sexual Privacy After Lawrence v. Texas, 16 Yale J.L. & Feminism 1 (2004), available at

Until Life Support Do Us Part: A Spouse's Limited Ability to Terminate Life Support for an Incompetent Spouse With No Hope of Recovery, 24 T. Jefferson L. Rev. 207 (2002)

Licensing Speech: The Case of Vanity Plates, 72 U. Colo. L. Rev. 595 (2001)

Closed Chambers and Closed Minds: Some Snapshots Taken Inside the Supreme Court, reviewing Edward Lazarus, Closed Chambers: The First Eyewitness Account of the Epic Struggles Inside the Supreme Court (1998), 103 Dickinson L. Rev. 89 (1998)

Reversed, Vacated, and Split: The Supreme Court, the Congress, and the Ninth Circuit, 77 Or. L. Rev. 405 (1998)

Does the Constitution Follow the Flag Into the United States Territories or Can It Be Separately Purchased and Sold?, 22 Hastings Const. L.Q. 707 (1995)

The Northern Mariana Islands: A Change in Course under Its Covenant with the United States, 71 Or. L. Rev. 127 (1992)

Download a list of Shorter Work for Professor Herald

Teaching Psychology to Law Students, Psychology of Persuasion Conference, Wyoming Law School, Laramie, Wyoming (September 20, 2015)

Teaching Psychology to Law Students to Make Them “Practice Ready”, Psychology of Persuasion, University of Wyoming College of Law, Laramie, Wyoming (September 19, 2015)

Getting Students Psyched: Using Psychology to Make Law Students "Practice Ready."
Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, Gonzaga Law School, Spokane, Washington (June 16, 2015)

Getting Students Psyched: Using Psychology to Make Law Students "Practice Ready", Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, , Gonzaga Law School, Spokane, Washington (June 16, 2015)

The Science of Credibility: Who Do We Believe and Why, National Association of Woman Judges, San Diego, California (October 17, 2014)

Supreme Court Preview 2014-15 Term, San Diego Chapter of the Federalist Society Constitution Day, California Western School of Law, San Diego, California (September 17, 2014)

Teaching Relational Competencies and Emotional Intelligence, Law and Psychology Conference, University of Nevada Law School, Las Vegas, Nevada (February 21, 2014)

Campaign Finance: The Past, the Present, and the Future, The Federalist Society, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California (November 14, 2013)

Freedom To Write: A Panel Discussion on Philosophy And Practice, The PEN Center USA, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California (October 1, 2013)

The Intersex (DSD) Movement: Developing Legal and Extra-Legal Strategies, The National LGBT Bar Association, Lavender Law Conference, Washington D.C. (August 24, 2012)

The Author’s Perspective, Author-Board Relations Panel, National Conference of Law Reviews, San Diego, CA (April 12, 2011)

Constitutional Issues in the Health Care Act, American Constitution Society, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, CA (October 22, 2010)

Cognitive Bias and Judicial Decision Making, National Association of Administrative Law Judges, Annual Conference, Pepperdine Law School, Malibu Law School, October, 2010

My Body, My Bedroom: A Peek at the Privacy Doctrine from Contraception to Sex Toys, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, January, 2010

Criminalization of Pregnancy, University of San Diego, San Diego, November 2009

Revisiting Disability Frames, Lavender Law Annual Conference, Brooklyn, New York, September, 2009

Whose Views Count in Discerning What is Just? Chair and Discussant, Law and Society Conference, Denver, Colorado, May, 2009

What Reproductive Choices Does the Constitution Protect? American Constitution Society, San Diego, CA, May, 2009

Understanding Cognitive Bias in the Legal Profession, Elimination of Bias Guest Lecture, Minnesota Bar Association, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 2009  

The Lessons Feminist Legal Theorists Can Learn from Intersex and Transgender Jurisprudence, Michigan Feminist Theory Conference, Ann Arbor, Michigan, February 2009

Bias in the Courtroom: Beyond Intentional Discrimination, Lavender Law Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, Sep 2008

Family Law and Psychology, Nice Law School, Nice, France, July 2008

Thinking Globally - Is it Possible?: A Psychological Perspective, Nice Law School, Nice, France, July 2008

A Therapeutic Approach to Law School, Therapeutic Jurisprudence Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 2008

Brain Science 101: Bringing the Delphic Oracle to Law School, Humanizing Legal Education Symposium, Washburn University School of Law, Topeka, KS, Oct. 20, 2007

Bias: Theory and Practice, Lavender Law Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, Sept. 7, 2007

Bottled Happiness: Confronting Prescription Drug Advertising and the Desire to Believe, International Association of Law and Mental Health, Padua, Italy, June 26, 2007

It's All in the Framing: Structuring Constitutional Law Claims to Advance LGBT Rights, Lavender Law Conference, Washington, D.C., Sept. 2006

Constitutional Consequences: Transgender Marriage Law, Lavender Law Conference, San Diego, CA, Oct. 2005

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Balancing Medical Training and Patient Privacy, UCSD Medical School, La Jolla, CA, June 2005

Transglobal Transformation Through Transgender Theory, Fifth Annual Women and the Law Conference: The Global Impact of Feminist Legal Theory, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, CA, Feb. 2005

You Can’t Take it with You: Constitutional Limitations on Interstate Identity Rulings, The Williams Project and UCLA Faculty Colloquium, Los Angeles, CA, Oct. 2004

Sex Determinations and Same Sex Marriages: Will They Be Entitled to Full Faith and Credit?, Law and Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, May 2004

The Thomas Jefferson School of Law faculty is highly prolific in the field of legal scholarship and our professors are in demand as speakers and panelists at legal events in the U.S. and abroad.

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By Susanne Prochazka 2L

On April 18, Law Students for Reproductive Justice hosted an event titled “Pro-Faith & Pro-Choice.”...

Moot Court

Moot Court Teams Argue in Notable Competitions

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Throughout the past week and a half, the Thomas Jefferson School of Law Moot Court Honors Society shined in competitions both at home and in...

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