Associate Dean of Faculty Performance and Development and Professor of Law

J.D., Yale Law School
B.A., Pennsylvania State University

Michael P. O’Connor received his B.A. from Pennsylvania State University, graduating summa cum laude with membership in Phi Beta Kappa.  Upon graduation, he was named an Evan Pugh Scholar, a recognition awarded only to those graduating in the top 0.5% of the graduating class.  Professor O’Connor received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as Student Director of both the Jerome N. Frank Prison Legal Services and the Green Haven Prison Project.  While at Yale, O’Connor co-authored a paper that was awarded the Raphael Lemkin Prize for Outstanding Work in International Human Rights.  This paper was later published in book form by Beacon Press as Plowshares and Swords: the Economics of Occupation in the West Bank, Drury and Winn (Boston, 1992).

As a practicing lawyer, O’Connor represented death-sentenced prisoners across the U.S. for almost two decades.  He also served as counsel for the Government of Mexico, asserting the treaty rights of Mexican nationals charged with capital offenses in the U.S.  In 1993, O’Connor was a co-finalist for Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, for his work in the case of State of Alabama v. Walter McMillian.  O’Connor and Bryan Stevenson represented Mr. McMillian and won his freedom from death row, where he had been sentenced for a crime he did not commit.

Professor O’Connor has fifteen years teaching experience at various schools in the U.S. and abroad.  He has taught a wide range of doctrinal and skills courses, including Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Terrorism Law, Humanitarian Law, Civil Rights Litigation and Legal Writing, among others.  His scholarship ranges across disciplines but focuses on the intersection of human rights, civil liberties and efforts to combat terrorism.  His comparative scholarship (with co-author Celia Rumann) on efforts to combat terrorism has been cited in official U.S. and British government documents, in white papers produced by Harvard, Yale and Columbia Universities, and in pleadings filed before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Professor O’Connor has presented his scholarship in Europe, Asia and Africa, in addition to the United States.

O’Connor and his partner (and wife), Celia Rumann, also make documentary films centering on human rights issues.

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

Michael P. O’Connor
Visiting Professor of Law
University of La Verne College of Law
320 East D Street
Ontario, California 91764

Tel: (909) 460-2039
Fax: (909) 460-2081