Emily Hughes is Professor and Bouma Fellow in Law at the University of Iowa College of Law, where she has served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (and previously, Associate Dean for Faculty) since 2016. Her research focuses on the death penalty, criminal law and procedure, and legal ethics. A member of the Steering Committee for the National Association for Public Defense, she is also co-chair of NAPD's Amicus Committee and directs a national training for capital defense teams.
Before joining the Iowa Law faculty in 2011, she was a professor at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, where she taught criminal law, criminal procedure (investigations and adjudication), and a seminar discussing mitigation and the death penalty.
At Washington University she also co-directed the Criminal Justice Clinic, where she supervised law students representing indigent clients facing felony charges in Saint Louis County. Prior to joining the faculty at Washington University, Professor Hughes was Associate Director of the Center for Justice in Capital Cases at DePaul University College of Law, where she worked in the legal clinic representing indigent clients on capital cases.
Her other experience includes working as a public defender for the Office of the Iowa State Public Defender in Iowa City, where she represented juveniles and adults on misdemeanor and felony charges. She was a Sacks Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Institute, and she clerked for the Honorable Michael J. Melloy, then Chief Judge of the Northern District of Iowa (now with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals).