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Shawn Fields

Shawn Fields

Associate Professor of Law

(619) 525-1686


Professor Fields joined the California Western School of Law faculty in 2023 as an Associate Professor of Law, where he teaches Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, and a research seminar on police practices and reform. Fields joined the faculty from Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he taught Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Immigration and Asylum Law, Constitutional Law, and Trial Advocacy. At Campbell, Fields also served as an advisor to the American Bar Association’s Legal Education Police Practices Consortium. 
Fields’s scholarship focuses on police legitimacy and reform, the Fourth Amendment, racial disparities in the criminal justice system, federal immigration power, sexual violence, the changing nature of self-defense, firearms law and policy, and the intersections among these areas. He is a prolific scholar, having published or placed sixteen articles in top law reviews, including The University of Chicago Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, and Cornell Law Review. He has been cited by multiple state and federal courts, including three state supreme courts and the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. His book NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH: POLICING WHITE SPACES IN AMERICA was published in 2022 with Cambridge University Press. His most recent book project, RIGHTS WITHOUT COPS: PUBLIC SAFETY AND CIVIL LIBERTIES IN A POST-POLICE WORLD, is forthcoming with the University of California Press. 

In the early part of his career, Fields was associated with the San Francisco office of Latham & Watkins LLP, where he practiced white collar criminal law and general civil litigation. He then moved to Tanzania, where he worked in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as the Country Director for Asylum Access, a refugee rights legal aid NGO. Upon his return to the United States, Fields practiced with a civil litigation boutique firm in San Diego and served for many years as a California criminal appellate specialist representing clients raising constitutional challenges to police and prosecutorial misconduct. He also served on the San Diego Community Review Board on Police Practices and taught Legal Writing at the University of San Diego School of Law. 
Fields holds a J.D., magna cum laude, from Boston University School of Law, where he served as an editor for the Boston University Law Review. He received his B.A. from Yale University, where he received high honors in Political Science. 

J.D., Boston University School of Law, magna cum laude

B.A., Yale University

Civil Procedure I

Civil Procedure II

Criminal Law

Criminal Procedure I

Police Practices and Reform


  • Rights Without Cops: Protecting Civil Liberties in a Post-Police World (University of California Press 2025).
  • Neighborhood Watch: Policing White Spaces in America (Cambridge University Press 2022).

Articles and Essays

  • (Non)police Brutality, 110 Cornell L. Rev. __ (2025).
  • The Procedural Justice Industrial Complex, 99 Ind. L.J. 563 (2024).
  • The Fourth Amendment Without Police, 90 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1023 (2023).
  • Protest Policing and the Fourth Amendment, 55 U.C. Davis. L. Rev. 347 (2021) (cited by the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals).
  • The Elusiveness of Self-Defense for the Black Transgender Community, 21 Nev. L.J. 975 (2021) (invited symposium essay).
  • Second Amendment Sanctuaries, 115 Nw. U.L. Rev. 437 (2020).
  • Sexual Violence and Future Harm: Lessons From Asylum Law, 2020 Utah L. Rev. 177.
  • Institutionalizing Consent Myths in Grade School, 73 Okla. L. Rev. 173 (2020) (invited symposium essay).
  • Guns, Knives, and Swords: Policing a Heavily Armed Arizona, 51 Ariz. St. L.J. 505 (2019).
  • Weaponized Racial Fear, 93 Tul. L. Rev. 931 (2019).
  • Stop and Frisk in a Concealed Carry World, 93 Wash. L. Rev. 1675 (2018) (cited by the Iowa Supreme Court).
  • From Guantánamo to Syria: The Extraterritorial Constitution in the Age of “Extreme Vetting,” 39 Cardozo L. Rev. 1129 (2018).
  • Is It Bad Law to Believe a Politician? Campaign Speech and Discriminatory Intent, 52 U. Rich. L. Rev. 273 (2018).
  • Terry, Handguns, and the Hand Formula, 54 Idaho L. Rev. 467 (2018) (invited symposium essay).
  • Debunking the Stranger-in-the-Bushes Myth: The Case for Sexual Assault Protection Orders, 2017 Wis. L. Rev. 429 (cited by Washington Supreme Court and Vermont Supreme Court).
  • The Unreviewable Executive? National Security and the Limits of Plenary Power, 84 Tenn. L. Rev. 731 (2017).
  • Private Crimes and Public Forgiveness: Toward a Refined Restorative Justice Amnesty Regime, 5 Intl. J. Civ. Soc. L. 2 (2007) (student note).
  • Constitutional Comparativism and the Eighth Amendment, 86 B.U. L. Rev. 963 (2006) (student note).