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Emily Bazelon

Justice in America is at a crossroads. We have the opportunity to forge a better, fairer future.

Author of Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration

Contact Emily For Booking
Emily Bazelon | Author of Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Emily Bazelon sheds vital light on the enormous and oft-misused power of the American judicial system in shaping our society. Her crucial research—as explored in both her talks and new book, Charged—provide a bracing investigation of a criminal justice system with unchecked power, and the remarkable efforts being made to address and reform the national crisis that mass incarceration represents. 

“Bazelon adeptly explains the culture that drives traditional district attorneys and the philosophies of reform-minded district attorneys.”

Publisher’s Weekly on Charged

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine, where she writes on today’s most breaking legal matters—from voter fraud and national security to the balance of power in Washington, abortion to capital punishment, prostitution to sexual assault and transgender rights. Her new book Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration investigates and expands upon what she often touches upon in the Times. In Charged, Bazelon follows the story of two young people caught up in the criminal justice system, tracking every phase of the process. With her trademark blend of narrative, legal analysis, and investigative journalism, she illustrates how criminal prosecutions can go wrong and, more important, why they don’t have to. In a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly calls Charged “a powerful indictment of the traditional prosecution model.” An incredible new companion talk offers Bazelon’s live analysis of both the optimistic counter-efforts and the systemic battles at play. 


Bazelon’s ground-breaking investigative journalism (and knack for storytelling), coupled with her extensive legal knowledge—she is the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School, as well as a lecturer there—makes her one of the leading authorities on jurisprudence and justice in America. A former senior editor of both Legal Affairs and Slate, Bazelon is now co-host of Slate’s popular weekly podcast, “Political Gabfest.” She is also an expert on the shifting landscape of bullying in the cyber age: what constitutes bullying? What can parents, teachers, and educators do about it? What are the roles of personality traits, such as “grit,” character, and empathy, to overcome childhood trauma and find social success? She writes about this in her bestselling book Sticks and Stones, a major contribution to the international conversation on bullying. 

Bazelon has spoken to audiences from the Aspen Ideas Festival to the Texas Bar Association to TEDxWomen. She was a frequent guest on The Colbert Report. She has also appeared on Today, PBS Newshour, MSNBC, Fresh Air, and All Things Considered. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, O: The Oprah Magazine, The Washington Post, and Mother Jones


Speech Topics

Social Justice
Charged The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration
In this revealing new talk, Emily Bazelon exposes the unchecked power of the prosecutor as a driving force in America’s mass incarceration crisis—and charts a way out. Drawn from the investigations of her book Charged, this fascinating keynote details the damage overzealous prosecutors can do—and also the second chances they can extend, if they choose. With realistic optimism, Bazelon tells of reform-minded D.A.s who have been elected in some of our biggest cities, as well as in rural areas in every region of the country, put in office to do nothing less than reinvent how their job is done. If they succeed, they can point the country toward a different and profoundly better future. Audiences will come away from this talk with a clear-eyed view of the American criminal justice system—and  the movement for change.
Sticks and Stones Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy

In this timely talk, Emily Bazelon cuts to the beating heart of an increasingly important topic: bullying. She guides audiences on a sweeping, thoughtful, and empathetic journey through the social and legal ramifications, and answers key questions: Which school programs work best to combat bullying? How effective are the laws at protecting our children from this trauma? What do recent high-profile cases of bullying tell us about how the issue has changed over the years?  How are people using new technologies—mobile phones, social media, texting—to both spread and combat bullying? Most importantly: is bullying happening to the degree that media reports suggest? Insightful and engaging, Bazelon empowers parents, educators and students with the tools to stop bullying, both in the classroom and online. This powerful keynote is a reminder of all that we can—and must—do to help our children succeed in any environment.