James A. Strazzella 
James G. Schmidt Professor of Law  

 

Professor Strazzella teaches basic and advanced courses in substantive criminal law, criminal procedure, and appellate procedure, and has taught in the area of advocacy and professional responsibility. His teaching has been recognized by the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (1983) and the George Williams Award for Outstanding Professor (2010). Appointed to the first faculty chair established at the Law School, he is the author of numerous journal articles and a teaching textbook on criminal appellate procedure. Before joining the Temple faculty in 1973, he was Vice-Dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School Faculty. He served as Acting Dean of the Temple Law School (1987-1989).

Professor Strazzella has extensive trial and appellate experience, including service, at the request of the courts, as amicus, as counsel, and as special master. He has been active in a host of public service activities during his career, particularly in continuing judicial education and in promoting legal reform. He has lectured nationally in educational forums designed for the judiciary and the practicing bar, both here and abroad, and worked with numerous groups in efforts to improve the legal process.

In 1987, Professor Strazzella was appointed to head a state-wide task force to make recommendations on how law enforcement could improve its response to violence against children, elders and spouses. That Task Force on Domestic Violence produced three major reports which resulted in practical and significant changes in legislation, policy, training, data collection, and public awareness of domestic violence. He also chaired the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Criminal Rules Committee under five Chief Justices and for a period of 13 years, leading the effort to unify and modernize Pennsylvania's criminal trial procedures.

Professor Strazzella was an Assistant United States Attorney in Washington D.C. before entering teaching. After entering teaching, in 1970, he served as Chief Counsel to the investigation of the Kent State shootings carried out by the President's Commission on Campus Unrest. He was elected to several terms as head of the state Bar Association's Criminal Law Section and has headed the Federal Bar Association's Criminal Law Committee. He chaired the Federal District Court Magistrate Judges Appointment Committee, the Mayor's Public Safety Transition Task Force, and has served as a leader in numerous other organizations, including the Joint Council on Criminal Justice, the Judicial Council of Pennsylvania, the Commission on Professional Standards, and the Council on Legal Education Opportunity. He is a member of the American Law Institute and active in many community, charitable, and other public service endeavors.

Professor Strazzella received his law degree, with honors, from the University of Pennsylvania and his undergraduate degree, with honors, from Villanova University. Following law school, he was law clerk to Justice Samuel J. Roberts of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

 

 

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