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Michael Stanford is an Honors Faculty Fellow, a licensed attorney, and a literary scholar with a particular interest in literature about the law. He holds a B.A. from Duke University and a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Virginia. After graduating from UVA, he taught for four years at Stanford University (no relation), where his primary teaching responsibility was a freshman seminar called Great Works, a course analogous to The Human Event.
In 1992, Stanford came to Barrett as a lecturer. For the next fifteen years, he taught The Human Event as well as several upper-level Honors seminars. He inaugurated Barrett’s summer study program in the British Isles and served as its director from 1995 to 2001.
In 2002, while still teaching at Barrett, he began taking courses at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Simultaneously, he served as the director of Project Excellence, a unique program which allows Barrett upperclassmen to take selected courses in the law school.
Stanford received his own law degree in 2005. In 2007, he left ASU to take a job as a trial attorney with the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office. In the course of the next five and a half years, he represented over five hundred defendants charged with crimes ranging from drug possession to murder.
In the spring of 2013, Stanford returned to Barrett as a full-time faculty member. He teaches The Human Event and, periodically, an upper-level Honors course called Law, Literature, and Life.
Stanford is the editor, with David Kader, of Poetry of the Law from Chaucer to the Present (University of Iowa Press, 2010)—the first anthology of law-related poetry published in the United States. He is at work on a second, related book, a study of legal themes in Anglo-American poetry.
In his spare time, Stanford enjoys reading contemporary British fiction, listening to Irish traditional music, and spending time with his wife Lindy (also an attorney) and Kensington, the world’s most joyful dog.