Crystal Yang ’13, law and economics scholar, to join the Harvard Law faculty

Headshot_2Crystal Yang ‘13, a scholar specializing in criminal law and consumer finance, will join the Harvard Law School faculty as an assistant professor in July. This past year, Yang was an Olin Fellow and Instructor in Law at the University of Chicago Law School, where she taught a seminar on Empirical Criminal Law.

“Crystal’s powerful effort to bring rigorous analysis combining her advanced training in economics and statistics to examine disparities in criminal sentencing is novel, timely, and important,” said Martha Minow, Dean of Harvard Law School. “I am thrilled Crystal has accepted our offer to join the faculty that she dazzled as a student. Students and colleagues alike will benefit so much from her many talents, her passion for justice, her zealous pursuit of techniques to deepen the reliability of empirical research, and her attention to institutions of legal practice.”

Yang’s teaching and research interests center around empirical law and economics, particularly in the areas of criminal law and procedure and consumer bankruptcy. Her article “Have Inter-Judge Sentencing Disparities Increased in an Advisory Guidelines Regime? Evidence From Booker” is forthcoming in the New York University Law Review (2014). Working papers and works in progress explore racial disparities in the federal criminal justice system, the impact of judicial vacancies on prosecutorial charging, the long-term consequences of incarceration, and the impact of consumer bankruptcy on financial well-being.

“I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be joining the HLS faculty,” Yang said. “I am very excited to be returning to such a vibrant and stimulating community, and look forward to working with students and colleagues.”

Yang graduated from HLS in 2013, where she was a John M. Olin and Terence M. Considine Fellow, and recipient of the John M. Olin Prize. She also received her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 2013 and was a recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.  She earned an A.B. in economics and an A.M. in statistics from Harvard University in 2008.