Faculty Biography

Sarah French Russell headshot

Sarah French Russell

Professor of Law 

BA, JD, Yale University

Areas of expertise

  • Civil Rights
  • Clinical Education
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Juvenile Law



Sarah French Russell is a Professor of Law at Quinnipiac University School of Law. Her research and teaching are focused on sentencing policy, juvenile justice, prison conditions, prisoner reentry issues, and the problems of access to justice. She also co-directs the Civil Justice Clinic at Quinnipiac, which gives students the opportunity to represent low-income clients and work on policy projects. Russell leads the Clinic's Juvenile Sentencing Project, which advocates for a meaningful opportunity for release for children sentenced to long prison terms.

Russell came to Quinnipiac from Yale Law School, where she served as director of the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program and taught in the Criminal Defense, Prison Legal Services, and Supreme Court clinics. Prior to that, Russell worked at the Federal Public Defender's Office in New Haven where, as an assistant federal defender, she represented indigent clients in federal court at the trial and appellate levels. Russell also clerked for Chief Judge Michael B. Mukasey in the Southern District of New York and for Judge Chester J. Straub on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Russell currently serves on the Connecticut Sentencing Commission, Connecticut’s Committee on Judicial Ethics, and the Federal Grievance Committee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

Sarah French Russell & Tracy L. Denholtz, Procedures for Proportionate Sentences: The Next Wave of Eighth Amendment Noncapital Litigation, 48 CONN. L. REV. 1121 (2016)

Sarah French Russell, Jury Sentencing and Juveniles: Eighth Amendment Limits and Sixth Amendment Rights, 56 B. C. L. REV. 553 (2015)

Sarah French Russell, Review for Release: Juvenile Offenders, State Parole Practices, and the Eighth Amendment, 89 IND. L. J. 373 (2014)

Sarah French Russell, Reluctance to Resentence: Courts, Congress, and Collateral Review, 91 N. C. L. REV. 79 (2012)

Sarah French Russell, Rethinking Recidivist Enhancements: The Role of Prior Drug Convictions in Federal Sentencing, 43 U. C. DAVIS L. REV. 1135 (2010)