Levin College of Law

Kenneth B. Nunn

Dr. Patricia Hilliard-Nunn Memorial Racial Justice Term Professor
Professor of Law
Associate Director, Center on Children and Families

Mailing Address:
Box #117625 Gainesville, FL 32611

(352) 273-0660


Kenneth Nunn is the Associate Director of the Center on Children and Families at UF Law. Nunn joined the UF Law faculty in 1990 and has twice been named “teacher of the year.” His teaching and scholarship expertise lies in the fields of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Race Relations and the Law, Police Brutality, Race and the Criminal Process, Cultural Studies, and African and Africa-centered thought. Along with Sharon Rush, he co-founded the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations, one of a few law school centers that focus on race. He previously worked as a public defender in San Francisco and Washington, DC and as a staff attorney at the Southern Africa Project. Nunn has published a variety of written works, including several book chapters and various articles on topics such as race, diversity, critical theories and human injustice. He was a member of the Florida Innocence Commission that was established to suggest changes in Florida law to avoid wrongful convictions. Nunn has also taught as a visiting law faculty member at Washington and Lee University School of Law, Florida A&M University College of Law and at Makerere University in Uganda. Nunn is an Affiliate Professor in the UF Center for African Studies and in the UF African American Studies Program.

He received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.


J.D., University of California, Berkeley
A.B., Stanford University

Teaching and Scholarship

Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, African American History and the Law, African Traditional Law, Police Brutality, Race and the Criminal Process and Law and Cultural Studies.

Professional Activities

  • University of Florida: Joined College of Law faculty in 1990 as Assistant Professor; Advisor to Black Law Student Association (1990-2002), Advisor to Trial Team (1990-94, 1999-2002). Named Associate Professor (1993-95), Professor of Law (1995-present), Teacher of the Year (1996), Professor of the Year (1998) and Associate Dean (1999-2000).
  • Visiting Faculty: Makerere University Faculty of Law (1997, Kampala, Uganda); Washington and Lee University School of Law (1998); Florida A&M University College of Law (2008-09)
  • Legal Practice: Deputy Public Defender, Office of the Public Defender (San Francisco, Calif., 1985-86), Staff Attorney, Southern Africa Project, Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Washington, D.C., 1986-87), Staff Attorney, Public Defender Service (Washington, D.C., 1987-90).
  • Professional Affiliations: Innocence Commission of the State of Florida; Board of Directors, Florida Institutional Legal Services, Inc.; Gainesville Area ACLU Legal Panel; Association of American Law Schools, Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Teachers; Cooperating Attorney, NAACP Legal Defense Fund; American Bar Association; ABA Criminal Justice Section, Race and Racism in the Criminal Justice System Committee (Co-Chair); ABA Rules of Criminal Procedure and Evidence Committee; ABA Special Committee on Gun Violence; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Executive Committee, National Association for Public Interest Law; Bar of the District of Columbia; State Bar of California.


Criminal Law - LAW 5100
  • Substantive law of crimes, including principles of punishment, elements of typical crimes, responsibility and defenses.
Criminal Procedure: Adversary System - LAW 6112
  • Covers commencement of formal criminal proceedings; bail, the decision to prosecute, the grand jury, the preliminary hearing, venue, joinder and severance, and speedy trial.
Criminal Procedure: Police and Police Practices - LAW 6111
  • Police as a social institution, including personnel, bureaucratic structure and incentives. Also covers police practices such as arrest, search, seizure, wiretapping, eavesdropping, use of informers, entrapment, confessions and lineups.



  • Associate Editor for Law and Society, MacMillan Encyclopedia of Race and Racism (Thomson Pub., 2007).

Chapters in Books

  • “Sankofa and the Congo: Fu-Kian, African Consciousness, and Nation Building in the African Diaspora,” in Revisiting African Studies in a Globalized World (Albert K. Awedoba, et
    al., eds.) (Univ. of Ghana Press, 2017)
  • “The Black Nationalist Cure to Disproportionate Minority Contact,” in Justice For Kids: Keeping Kids Out of the Juvenile Justice System (Nancy Dowd, ed.) (NYU Press, 2011)
  • “Still Up On the Roof: Race, Victimology and the Response to Hurricane Katrina,” in Hurricane Katrina: America’s Unnatural Disaster(Jeremy I. Levitt & Matthew C. Whitaker, eds.) (Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2009).
  • “Rosewood,” in When Sorry Isn’t Enough: The Controversy over Apologies and Reparations for Human Injustices (Roy L. Brooks, ed., 1999).


  • “Essentially Black”: Legal Theory and the Morality of Conscious Racial Identity,” 97 Neb. L. Rev. 287 (2018). [SSRN]
  • “Ideology, Gentile and Pretrial Attorney Speech: A Response to Professor Tarkington,” 66 Fla. L. Rev. Forum 35 (2015). [SSRN]
  • “The ‘R-Word’: A Tribute to Derrick Bell,” 22 Fla. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 431 (2011).
  • “Diversity As a Dead End,” 35 Pepp. L. Rev. 705 (2008).
  • “Foreword: New Explorations in Culture and Crime—Definitions, Theory, Method,” 17 Fla. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y vii (2006).
  • “Diversity Matters: Race, Gender & Ethnicity in Legal Education,” 15 Fla. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 11 (2003). [SSRN]
  • “Race, Crime and the Pool of Surplus Criminality: Or Why the War on Drugs Was a War on Blacks,” 6 Iowa J. Gender Race & Just. 381 (2002), excerpted and reprinted in Structured Inequality in the United States: Critical Discussions on the Continuing Significance of Race, Ethnicity and Gender (Aguirre & Baker, eds., 2d ed. 2007).
  • “The Child as Other’: Race and Differential Treatment in the Juvenile Justice System,” 51 DePaul L. Rev. 679 (2002). [SSRN]
  • “The ‘Darden Dilemma’: Should African Americans Prosecute Crimes?” 68 Fordham L. Rev. 1473 (2000).
  • “Law, Culture, and the Morality of Judicial Choice,” 28 Cumberland L. Rev. 581 (1998).
  • “Illegal Aliens: Extraterrestrials and White Fear,” 48 Fla. L. Rev. 397 (1997).
  • “Law as a Eurocentric Enterprise,” 15 Law & Ineq. 323 (1997), reprinted in Critical Race Theory: The Cutting Edge (Delgado & Stefancic, eds., 2d ed. 2000).

Other Publications

  • “Racism Is the Problem, Not Stand Your Ground Laws – Room For Debate,” N.Y. Times, (March 21, 2012).
  • “Minority Groups,” World Book Encyclopedia (2003).
  • “Racial Profiling,” World Book Encyclopedia (2002).
  • “Stereotyping,” World Book Encyclopedia (2002).
  • “Racism,” World Book Encyclopedia (2001).

 See vita for complete list of publications.