Elected & Ex Officio Member

Dean Roger A. Fairfax, Jr.

Washington, DC
American University, Washington College of Law
Harvard College
University of London
Harvard Law School

Roger A. Fairfax, Jr. is Professor of Law, the Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professor, and Founding Director of the Criminal Law & Policy Initiative. Professor Fairfax served as the Jeffrey and Martha Kohn Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2015-2019, and as Associate Dean for Public Engagement from 2014-2015.

Professor Fairfax teaches courses in criminal law, constitutional and adjudicatory criminal procedure, criminal litigation, prosecutorial and criminal defense ethics, and seminars on the grand jury, white-collar criminal investigations, criminal defense, and criminal justice policy. He conducts research on discretion in the criminal process, the grand jury, prosecutorial ethics, and criminal justice policy and reform.

His scholarship has been published in edited books, including his own Grand Jury 2.0: Modern Perspectives on the Grand Jury, and in articles and essays appearing in a number of leading journals including the Boston College Law Review, Cornell Law Review, U.C. Davis Law Review, Fordham Law Review, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, Iowa Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, William & Mary Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal.  He is the author of Adjudicatory Criminal Procedure: Cases, Statutes, and Materials, published by Foundation Press.

Before joining the Law School faculty, Professor Fairfax served as a federal prosecutor in the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he represented the United States in a broad range of public corruption investigations and prosecutions. During his time in the Attorney General's Honors Program, he also served details as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia and as special assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of DOJ.

Following his government service, Professor Fairfax was a Counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of O'Melveny & Myers LLP, where his practice included white-collar criminal and regulatory defense, internal investigations, complex civil litigation, and strategic counseling, as well as pro bono indigent criminal defense, appellate, and civil rights litigation. 

Professor Fairfax has engaged in expert consultation and pro bono representation in internal investigations and in grand jury, trial, and appellate matters in state, federal, and foreign courts.  He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Maryland, and a variety of federal trial and appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court.

Professor Fairfax has testified before Congress, spoken at the White House, and advised local, state, and national government officials and candidates on criminal justice policy. He worked on criminal justice reform as a Senior Legislative Fellow with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism and as a Senior Fellow at Harvard Law School's Charles Hamilton Houston Institute. Professor Fairfax was appointed by Governor Martin O'Malley, and confirmed by the Maryland Senate, to the Board of Trustees of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, and also served as Chair of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Professor Fairfax has served as an elected member of the governing council of the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section, and on the boards of the National Bar Association and the Southeastern Association of Law Schools. He is a member of the advisory board of the Bloomberg/BNA White Collar Crime Report and the editorial board of the ABA's Criminal Justice magazine.

Professor Fairfax graduated with honors from Harvard College, the University of London, and Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review and was awarded the Heyman Fellowship for Government Service. Professor Fairfax clerked for Judge Patti B. Saris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and for Judge Judith W. Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Professor Fairfax is a member of the Board of Directors of the Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit, a barrister of the Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and an elected member of the American Law Institute.  In 2019, Chief Justice Roberts appointed Professor Fairfax to serve on the Judicial Conference of the United States, Advisory Committee for the Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Dean Roger A. Fairfax, Jr. Image
Areas of Expertise
Criminal Law
Criminal Procedure (Criminal Law)