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Press Release

Joyce Vance Joins the Brennan Center as Senior Fellow

Former U.S. attorney and MSNBC legal analyst will contribute to the Brennan Center’s work on the federal courts and the rule of law. 

May 13, 2024

For Immediate Release
May 14, 2024

Contact: Julian Brookes,, (646) 673–6224

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance has joined the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law as a senior fellow. In this role, Vance will contribute to the Brennan Center’s work on criminal law and the federal courts. She will provide legal analysis and commentary to advance the debate in these areas.

“We’re delighted to welcome Joyce to the Brennan Center,” said Michael Waldman, president and CEO of the Brennan Center for Justice. “She brings such deep expertise as a practitioner, analyst, and commentator. Joyce will be a tremendous asset in our fight to protect democracy and the rule of law.” 

Vance will continue teaching at the University of Alabama School of Law, where she is a distinguished professor of the practice of law. She focuses on criminal law and democratic institutions and has taught at the law school since 2017. She is also a legal analyst for NBC and MSNBC, a columnist for, and cohost of two podcasts: #SistersInLaw and Cafe Insider.

Vance’s latest entry on her Cafe Insider Substack — “Can We Trust the Jury in Trump’s Manhattan Trial?” — is now available on the Brennan Center website. In February, she joined Waldman, Holly Brewer, and Aziz Huq for “A President Is Not a King,” a live public discussion hosted by the Brennan Center. Since 2017, she has been a member of Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime & Incarceration, a Brennan Center initiative. As a senior fellow, Vance will focus on the prosecutions of former President Donald Trump.

Before joining the faculty at the University of Alabama School of Law, Vance was the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 2009 to 2017. She prosecuted the state’s first material support of terrorism case and successfully challenged its 2011 anti-immigration law. Vance also created the first civil rights enforcement unit in an Alabama U.S. attorney’s office. She served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys from 2009 to 2011 and co-chaired its criminal practice subcommittee from 2009 to 2017. 

Including her time as the U.S. attorney, Vance served in U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama for 18 years. She joined the office in 1991 in the criminal division, and after 11 years moved to the appellate division, where she became chief in 2005. Before the U.S. attorney’s office, Vance practiced at the firms now known as Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Birmingham, Alabama, and ArentFox Schiff in Washington, DC.

Vance’s writing has been published by many outlets, among them Just Security, the New York TimesSlate, the Washington Post, and the Yale Law Journal.

Vance is a graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and the University of Virginia School of Law.