Elected Member

Professor Avani Mehta Sood

New York, NY
New York University School of Law
Princeton University, AB
Princeton University, MA & PhD in Psychology
Yale Law School, JD

Avani Mehta Sood is a Professor of Law at New York University’s School of Law, with an affiliated appointment in NYU's Department of Psychology. In her scholarship, Sood employs empirical methods and theories of psychology to examine and address the criminal legal system's untested assumptions about how its laws, processes, and courtroom decision makers operate. Her research has shed new light on the legal and psychological implications of verdict format in criminal jury trials, misunderstandings and bias in applications of legal doctrines, and the covert operation of motivated cognition (an inadvertent tendency to reason toward desired outcomes) in legal judgments. Sood has published her research in a number of leading law reviews and peer-reviewed empirical journals, including the Stanford Law Review, NYU Law Review, Virginia Law Review, California Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Harvard Law Review Forum, Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and the Annual Review of Law & Social Science. She is currently writing a book on Psychological Dimensions of Criminal Law.

Sood earned her JD from Yale Law School, and her PhD, MA, and AB summa cum laude in Psychology from Princeton University. Prior to entering legal academia, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Kimba M. Wood in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, worked as a litigation associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, and conducted human rights fieldwork and trainings in India and Kenya as a lawyer with the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Sood joined NYU in 2022 from the UC Berkeley School of Law, where she served on the faculty since 2013 and received the University’s Hellman Faculty Fellowship Award for her scholarship. She has been a Visiting Professor of Law at Cornell University, NYU, and the University of Chicago, and she co-founded the Law & Society Association’s Collaborative Research Network on Law, Society, & Psychological Science. At NYU, Sood teaches 1L Criminal Law, a Colloquium on Law & Psychology, and a seminar on Psychological Dimensions of Criminal Law.

Professor Avani Mehta Sood Image
Areas of Expertise
Criminal Law
Criminal Procedure (Criminal Law)
Empirical Legal Studies (Criminal Law)
Law & Psychology (Criminal Law)