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Jody David Armour
USC Gould School of Law

Jody David Armour

Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law

Telephone: (213) 740-2559
Fax: (213) 740-5502
699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA Room: 432
Personal Website: Link

Download Curriculum Vitae

Last Updated: February 7, 2022

Jody David Armour is the Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern California. He has been a member of the faculty since 1995. Armour’s expertise ranges from personal injury claims to claims about the relationship between racial justice, criminal justice, and the rule of law. Armour studies the intersection of race and legal decision making as well as torts and tort reform movements.

A widely published scholar and popular lecturer, Armour is a Soros Justice Senior Fellow of The Open Society Institute’s Center on Crime, Communities and Culture. He has published articles in Stanford Law Review, California Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, Boston College Law Review, Southern California Review of Law and Women's Studies, University of Colorado Law Review, University of Pittsburgh Law Review, Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, Southwestern University Law Review, and Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. His book Negrophobia and Reasonable Racism: The Hidden Costs of Being Black in America (New York University Press) addresses three core concerns of the Black Lives Matter movement—namely, racial profiling police brutality, and mass incarceration. He has recently completed a second book that examines law, language, and moral luck in the criminal justice system. Armour often appears as a legal analyst on NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, KPCC, KCRW, and a variety of other television and radio news programs. At the request of the US Department of State and European Embassies, Professor Armour has toured major universities in Europe to speak about social justice as well as Hip Hop culture and the law. His work on the intersection of these topics grew into a unique interdisciplinary and multimedia analysis of social justice and linguistics, titled Race, Rap and Redemption, produced by USC alumna J. M. Morris, and featuring performance by Ice Cube, Mayda del Valle, Saul Williams, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Macy Gray Music Academy Orchestra, and Mailon Rivera.

Armour earned his AB degree in Sociology at Harvard University and his JD degree with honors from Boalt Hall Law School at UC Berkeley. Prior to joining USC, he was an associate at Morrison & Foerster, Kirkpatrick and Lockhart and taught at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, Indiana University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Armour currently teaches students a diverse array of subjects, including Criminal Law, Torts, and Stereotypes and Prejudice: The Role of the Cognitive Unconscious in the Rule of Law.


  • N*gga Theory: Race, Language, Unequal Justice, and the Law (Los Angeles Review of Books, 2020). 
  • Negrophobia & Reasonable Racism: The Hidden Costs of Being Black in America (New York University Press, 1997).

Articles and Book Chapters

  • "Law, Language, and Politics." 22 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law 1073 (June 2020). - (bepress)
  • "Hate Speech, the N-Word, the Confederate Battle Flag, the Legal Lexicon, and the Politics of Meaning," 22 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law (March 2020).
  • "Where Bias Lives in the Criminal Law and its Processes: How Judges and Jurors Socially Construct Black Criminals," 45 American Journal of Criminal Law 203 (2018). - (PDF)
  • “Nigga Theory: Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity in the Substantive Criminal Law” 12 Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 9 (Fall 2014). - (Hein)
  • “Race Ipsa Loquitur: Of Reasonable Racists, Intelligent Bayesians, and Involuntary Negrophobes,” in Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, editors, Critical Race Theory: The Cutting Edge, (Temple University Press, 2013).
  • “Race Ipsa Loquitur: Of Reasonable Racists, Intelligent Bayesians, and Involuntary Negrophobes,” in Sanford H. Kadish, Stephen J. Schulhofer, Carol S. Steiker, and Rachel E. Barkow, eds, Criminal Law and Its Processes: Cases and Materials, (Wolters Kluwer, 2012).
  • "Toward a Tort-Based Theory of Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Racial Justice," 38 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 1467 (Spring 2005). - (Hein)
  • "Interpretive Construction, Systemic Consistency, and Criterial Norms in Tort Law," 54 Vanderbilt Law Review 1157 (2001). - (Hein)
  • "Bring the Noise," 40 Boston College Law Review 733 (May 1999). - (Hein)
  • "Color-Consciousness in the Courtroom," 28 Southwestern University Law Review 281 (1999). - (Hein)
  • "Critical Race Feminism: Old Wine in a New Bottle or New Legal Genre?," 7 Southern California Review of Law and Women's Studies 431 (1998). - (Hein)
  • "Hype and Reality in Affirmative Action (Affirmative Action: Diversity of Opinions)," 68 University of Colorado Law Review 1173 (1997). - (Hein)
  • "Just Deserts: Narrative, Perspective, Choice, and Blame (Self-Defense and Relations of Domination: Moral and Legal Perspectives on Battered Women Who Kill)," 57 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 525 (1996). - (Hein)
  • "Stereotypes and Prejudice: Helping Legal Decision-makers Break the Prejudice Habit," 83 California Law Review 733 (1995).  - (Hein)
  • "Race Ipsa Loquitur: Of Reasonable Racists, Intelligent Bayesians, and Involuntary Negrophobes," 46 Stanford Law Review 781 (1994). - (Hein)

Other Works

  • Plays
    • Race, Rap, and Redemption, Visions & Voices 2007
      Live Performances by Ice Cube, Saul Williams, Mayda Del Valle, Macy Gray’s Youth Orchestra, The Lula Washington Dance Theatre, and The Spirit of Troy (TMB).
    • Race, Rap and Redemption Reprise 2008
      Abbreviated Performance featuring The Lulu Washington Dance Theatre for Incoming USC Freshmen: Writing Requirement.
    • What’s Race Got to Do with It? October 9, 2013
      Multimedia Performance of Nigga Theory’s Conceptual Framework for California Lawyers & Judges for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits.
  • Documentaries
    • Nigga Theory: A Brief Exploration, Directed by Khin-May Lwin, 2015                         
      A cinematic expression of my critical race scholarship. Selected for the American Documentary Film Festival, Palm Springs, March 2015 and for Dokufest - International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Prizren (Kosovo), August 2015.
    • Freeway: Crack in the System, 2015                          
      Includes scenes of Award-winning Director Marc Levin and former drug kingpin Freeway Rick Ross joining my seminar to discuss the causes and consequences of the crack plague.


Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance
September 25, 2023
Re: Jonathan Barnett

Jonathan Barnett wrote an op-ed piece, based on his forthcoming paper to be published in the University of Chicago Business Law Review, about antitrust regulations and the effects it has on merger review processes. "This inquiry raises serious concerns that legislators and regulators have embarked on a course of action that has an insufficient factual foundation in the digital markets on which competition policymakers have focused," Barnett wrote.


Mugambi Jouet
August, 2023

“Guns, Mass Incarceration, and Bipartisan Reform: Beyond Vicious Circle and Social Polarization,” 55 Arizona State Law Journal 239 (2023).

Jonathan Barnett
August, 2023

"Killer Acquisitions Reexamined: Economic Hyperbole in the Age of Populist Antitrust," University of Chicago Business Law Review.

Robin Craig
August, 2023

Robin Craig's article, "The Regulatory Shifting Baseline Syndrome: Vaccines, Generational Amnesia, and the Shifting Perception of Risk in Public Law Regimes," 21 Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics 1-60 (July 2022), was featured in The Regulatory Review on August 31, 2023.