Photo of Sarah F Russell

Sarah F Russell

Professor of Law

BA, JD, Yale University

School of Law


LAWS 636

Sentencing, Prisons, and Reentry - Law Spring 2019


Law School Academic

Phone Number

(203) 582-5258

Mail Drop




Sarah French Russell co-directs the Civil Justice Clinic and focuses her work on sentencing policy, juvenile justice, prison conditions, prisoner reentry issues, professional ethics, and the problems of access to justice. The Civil Justice Clinic gives students the opportunity to represent low-income clients and work on policy projects. Through the Clinic's Prisoner Reentry Project, Russell supervises students representing clients facing barriers to employment and housing based on their criminal records, and advocating for policies that promote successful reintegration of individuals reentering communities from prisons and jails. She also leads the Clinic's Juvenile Sentencing Project, which advocates for a meaningful opportunity for release for children sentenced to long prison terms. With both Projects, students have testified before the Connecticut General Assembly's Judiciary Committee and provided research to the Connecticut Sentencing Commission. Russell was appointed in 2016 by Governor Malloy as a member of the Connecticut Sentencing Commission. Russell also serves on Connecticut’s Committee on Judicial Ethics and the Federal Grievance Committee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. In 2013, she was named a “New Leader in the Law” by the Connecticut Law Tribune. 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. At Yale, she also co-taught courses on topics including sentencing, social movements, and clinical education. Before teaching at Yale, 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 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. Her recent articles include Procedures for Proportionate Sentences: The Next Wave of Eighth Amendment Noncapital Litigation (Connecticut Law Review, with Tracy Denholtz, 2016); Jury Sentencing and Juveniles: Eighth Amendment Limits and Sixth Amendment Rights (Boston College Law Review, 2015); Review for Release: Juvenile Offenders, State Parole Practices, and the Eighth Amendment (Indiana Law Journal, 2014); Reluctance to Resentence: Courts, Congress, and Collateral Review (North Carolina Law Review, 2012); and Rethinking Recidivist Enhancements: The Role of Prior Drug Convictions in Federal Sentencing (UC Davis Law Review, 2010). Russell earned her B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale College and her J.D. from Yale Law School.

Courses Taught

Civil Justice Clinic

Curriculum Vitae