Associate Professor of Law
College of Law
University of Idaho
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0015
- J.D., 2001 (cum laude), Loyola University School of Law, New Orleans
- B.S., 1997, Trinity College, Hartford, CT
Shaakirrah R. Sanders joined the University of Idaho College of Law as an associate professor in June 2011 and became the first African-American woman received tenure in 2016. Professor Sanders has taught or currently teaches Constitutional Law I & II, Criminal Procedure, Advanced Criminal Procedure, and the First Amendment. She also co-coaches the National Moot Court Competition Boise Team and serves as faculty advisor for the Idaho Critical Legal Studies Journal. In 2014, Professor Sanders was named Faculty Advisor of the Year by the Idaho Law Review. She also chairs the University of Idaho Administrative Hearing Board.
Professor Sanders has published scholarship on felony sentencing reform; civil and criminal jury trial rights; LGBTQ equality; religious freedom; and “ag-gag” legislation. Her work has appeared in the Hastings Law Journal, the William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal, the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, the Widener Law Journal, and the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review. Professor Sanders also contributed commentary for edited collections, including Idaho Media Law Handbook; Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court; and The Contested Place of Religion in Family Law.
Professor Sanders has given presentations at various legal scholarship conferences in her areas of law teaching. She has presented at The Present and Future of Civil Rights Movements: Race and Reform in 21st Century America at the Duke Law School and symposiums for the Wayne Law Review, Savannah Law Review, the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review, and the Widener Law Journal. She has also accepted invitations to present at faculty workshops at University of Washington School of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, University of Toledo School of Law, and Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.
Professor Sanders blogs for Casetext and has appeared in Idaho related news stories in national publications such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, and Al Jazeera America. She has also contributed to stories in local and regional news publications, including The Idaho Statesman, The Pacific Northwest Inlander, The Spokesman Review, and the Boise Weekly. Professor Sanders has provided legal commentary for Excited Utterance: The Evidence Law and Proof Podcast, as well as broadcasts on Northwest Public Radio; Idaho Public Radio; Boise State Public Radio; Lewiston’s KBOI News 2; KLEW News 3; and Boise’s KTVB News 7; KITV and KNIN News 9. She regularly gives legislative testimony and presents CLE, university, and public service presentations related to her areas of law teaching and scholarship.
Prior to joining the College of Law, Professor Sanders served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Ivan L.R. Lemelle in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the Honorable Lavenski R. Smith, current Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. She practiced at the Public Defender Association in Seattle, Washington; the Seattle office of K&L Gates; and the New Orleans office of Locke Lord. Professor Sanders also taught as a visiting professor at Seattle University School of Law and as an adjunct professor at the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas—Little Rock.
Professor Sanders received a J.D. (cum laude) from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law where she graduated second in her class of common law students and ninth in her class of common and civil law students. She served as Index/Casenote Editor on the Loyola Law Review and was named a William Crowe Scholar upon graduation. In 2004, Professor Sanders was awarded a Pegasus Scholarship by the American Inns of Court and the Honorable Society of the Inner Temple in London, England. She received a B.S. in Psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut where she served as president for class of 1997 20th Year Reunion Committee.
Professor Sanders is admitted to practice in the state courts of Louisiana, New York, and Washington, as well as various federal district and circuit courts. She serves on the board of the ACLU of Idaho and Family Advocates and as secretary/treasurer of the Richard C. Fields American Inns of Court. She is also co-chair of the AALS Section on Constitutional Law and served on the AALS Scholarly Papers Committee and AALS Pre-Tenured People of Color Workshop Planning Committee. In 2016, Professor Sanders was appointed to the Idaho state advisory committee for the U.S. Commission for Civil Rights.
- Confrontation rights at felony sentencing
- Criminal and civil jury trial rights
- Equal protection: race, gender, and sexuality
- Substantive due process: marriage, family autonomy, and reproductive freedom
- First Amendment: speech, press, association and religious freedom
- Voting rights
When Religious Beliefs Imperil Children, The Contested Place of Religion in Family Law (Robin Fretwell Wilson ed., forthcoming 2017)
Idaho Media Law Handbook (Rebecca Tallent ed., forthcoming 2017)
Ag-Gag Free Detroit, 93 U. Det. Mercy L. Rev. 669 (2016) (centennial symposium on the past, present, and future of the City of Detroit)
The Value of Confrontation as a Felony Sentencing Right, 25 Widener L.J. 103 (2016) (symposium on the death penalty and criminal sentencing reform) (featured on Kansas Federal Public Defender Blog, CrimProf Blog, Sentencing Law and Policy Blog, and Excited Utterance Podcast)
Commentary on United States v. Morrison, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court 447 (Cambridge University Press 2016)
Uncapping Compensation in the Gore Due Process Analysis, 24 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 37 (2015)
Making the Right Call for Confrontation at Felony Sentencing, 47 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 791 (2014)
Michigan’s Duty to Provide Access to Health Care, 6 J.L. Soc’y 1 (2005)
The Cyclical Nature of Divorce in the Western Legal Tradition, 50 Loy. L. Rev. 407 (2004)
Twenty-Five Years of a Divided Court and Nation: Conflicting Views of Affirmative Action and Reverse Discrimination, 26 U. Ark. Little Rock L. Rev. 61 (2003)
Casenote, Putting an End to the Speculative Jury: Louisiana v. Haddad, 45 Loy. L. Rev. 783 (1999)
- Loyola Law Review Faculty Advisor of the Year (2014)
- Loren Miller Bar Association Young Lawyer of the Year Award (2008)
- American Inn of Court/Honorable Society of the Inner Temple Pegasus Scholar (2004)
- Loyola University School of Law William Crowe Scholar (2001)
- Loyola Law Review Editorial Board Award for Outstanding Dedication and Service (1999-2000)