Professor of Law
J.D., Harvard University, cum laude;
B.A., Michigan State University, with high honors
Professor Marybeth Herald’s interest in public interest law inspired her decision to pursue a legal career. Her experience includes clerking for the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and working with Micronesian Legal Services in Saipan, in the Northern Mariana Islands, representing low-income and nonresident contract laborers.
While in the Northern Mariana Islands, Professor Herald founded a private law firm, where she practiced for seven years serving as counsel for public entities as well as engaging in trial and appellate work. Numerous Thomas Jefferson alumni have followed her adventurous path to work in the Marianas as law clerks, in the government, and in private practice.
Whether teaching constitutional law or law and psychology, she encourages students to become masters of their own learning, a philosophy she describes in her 2014 book YOUR BRAIN AND LAW SCHOOL. The message of the book is to “[b]e the pilot, not the passenger as you navigate law school.” Adopt a growth mind-set. Become an expert learner and those learning skills will bring you success, not only in law school, but also in the lawyering work that lies ahead. Her book and teaching emphasize the cognitive errors that distort attorney decision-making. She focuses students on becoming practice ready by understanding the psychology of presentation and persuasiveness.
More information about Professor Marybeth Herald can be found here.