• Full-Time Faculty
  • Meghan J. Ryan

  • Gerald J. Ford Research Fellow and Associate Professor of Law

  • fulltime Faculty
  • Meghan J. Ryan

  • Gerald J. Ford Research Fellow and Associate Professor of Law

Meghan J. Ryan

Gerald J. Ford Research Fellow and Associate Professor of Law

  • Biography

    • Professor Ryan teaches and writes at the intersection of criminal law and procedure, torts, and law & science. Her current research focuses on the impact of evolving science, technology, and cultural values on criminal convictions and punishment, as well as on civil remedies.

      Professor Ryan received her A.B., magna cum laude, in Chemistry from Harvard University. She earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and received the American Law Institute-American Bar Association Scholarship and Leadership Award. She was also a member of both the Minnesota Law Review and the Minnesota Journal of Global Trade.

      After graduation, Professor Ryan clerked for the Honorable Roger L. Wollman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. She also worked as an associate in the trial group at the Minneapolis-based law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP, where she focused her practice on commercial and intellectual property litigation, as well as on white collar defense and compliance. Additionally, Professor Ryan has conducted research in the areas of bioinorganic chemistry, molecular biology, and experimental therapeutics at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the SMU faculty, Professor Ryan was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, where she taught Criminal Law, Criminal Process, and Sales.
  • Areas of Expertise

    • Law and Science
      Torts
      Criminal Law
      Criminal Procedure
      Death Penalty
      Actual Innocence
  • Education

    • A.B., magna cum laude, Harvard University
      J.D., magna cum laude, University of Minnesota
  • Courses

    • Law & Science
      Torts I
      Torts II
      Constitutional Criminal Procedure: Adjudication

       
  • Presentations

    • Secret Conviction Programs
      Association of Americal Law Schools Mid-Year Meeting of the Criminal Justice Section, American University Washington College of Law, Washinton, DC (June 14, 2017)

      Secret Conviction Programs
      Columbia Criminal Law Roundtable, Columbia Law School, New York, NY (May 5, 2017)

      Forensic Science Ethics Roundtable 
      Roundtable Participant, University of Texas School of Law, Austin, TX (Apr. 14, 2017)

      Is Miranda Good News or Bad News for the Police? Lessons in Empirics and the Constitution
      11th Annual Criminal Law Symposium: Entering the Second Fifty Years of Miranda, Texas Tech University School of Law, Lubbock, TX (Mar. 31, 2017)

      Developing a Scientific Basis for Accurate and Reliable Fingerprint Evidence
      Faculty Workshop, University of Missouri School of Law, Columbia, MO (Dec. 2, 2016)
       
      Secret Conviction Algorithms
      American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Ninth Annual Fall Institute, Washington, D.C. (Nov. 3, 2016)
       
      Criminal Justice Algorithms and Trade Secret Law
      13th Annual Symposium on Emerging Intellectual Property Issues: Intellectual Property and Social Justice, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (Sept. 30, 2016)

      Miranda Distractions 
      Forensic Group Meeting, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (Sept. 14, 2016)
       
      Is Miranda Good News or Bad News for the Police? Lessons in Empirics and the Constitution
      Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Amelia Island, FL (Aug. 7, 2016)
       
      Algorithms, Secrecy, and IP Rights 
      Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Amelia Island, FL (Aug. 4, 2016)

      The Evolution of Tort Law
      Law Preview, Dallas, TX (Aug. 1, 2016)

      The Evolution of Tort Law
      Law Preview, Houston, TX (July 25, 2016)

      The Evolution of Tort Law
      Law Preview, Austin, TX (July 20, 2016)

      Developing a Scientific Basis for Reliable Fingerprint Evidence
      CrimFest, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York, NY (July 12, 2016)

      Secrecy, IP Rights, and Prosecutions
      IP/Life Science Symposium, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, IN (Apr. 7, 2016)

      Developing a Scientific Basis for Accurate and Reliable Fingerprint Evidence
      Faculty Forum, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (Mar. 23, 2016)
       
      Transparency vs. Leniency, Impartial Decisionmakers, and Gravity vs. Levity at Guantanamo Bay
      Ethics Colloquy, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (Mar. 22, 2016)

      Developing a Scientific Basis for Accurate and Reliable Fingerprint Evidence
      Flawed Forensics and Innocence Symposium, West Virginia University College of Law, Morgantown, WV (Mar. 4, 2016)

      Miranda’s Truth
      Miranda at 50, Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law, Highland Heights, KY (Feb. 26, 2016)

      Anticipatory Self-Defense
      Moderator, American Association of Law Schools 110th Annual Meeting, New York City, NY (Jan. 9, 2016)

      Developing a Scientific Basis for Accurate and Reliable Fingerprint Evidence
      SMU Law & Statistics Fellows Seminar (Dec. 4, 2015)
       
      On Neuro-Dignity and -Diversity in Offender Rehabilitation
      American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Eighth Annual Fall Institute, Washington, D.C. (Oct. 22, 2015)

      The Privacy, Probability, and Political Pitfalls of Universal DNA Collection
      It's Debatable: Should Feds Have Your DNA? (debating Prof. Arnold Loewy), Criminal Law Society, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (Oct. 2, 2015)

      Challenging Police Procedure
      Commentator for Eric Miller, 7th Annual Southwest Criminal Law Workshop, The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, Salt Lake City, UT (Sept. 26, 2015)

      On Neuro-Dignity and -Diversity in Offender Rehabilitation
      7th Annual Southwest Criminal Law Workshop, The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, Salt Lake City, UT (Sept. 25, 2015)

      The Lightness of the Prosecutor’s Burden
      Commentator for Ion Meyn, 7th Annual Southwest Criminal Law Workshop, The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, Salt Lake City, UT (Sept. 25, 2015)

      The Upside-Down Military Commission Proceedings at Guantanamo Bay
      Veterans Law Association, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (Sept. 10, 2015)

      The Foundations of Tort Law
      Law Preview, Dallas, TX (Aug. 5, 2015)
       
      The Values of Dignity and Reliability in Addressing Innocence
      Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Boca Raton, FL (July 28, 2015)
       
      The Foundations of Tort Law
      Law Preview, Houston, TX (July 27, 2015)
       
      The Foundations of Tort Law
      Law Preview, Austin, TX (July 22, 2015)
       
      Taking Another Look at Second-Look Sentencing
      CrimFest, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York, NY (July 20, 2015)
       
      Taking Another Look at Second-Look Sentencing
      University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN (Apr. 24, 2015).
       
      Taking Another Look at Second-Look Sentencing
      St. Louis University School of Law, St. Louis, MO (Apr. 22, 2015)
       
      Actually Innocent? Exonerations on Appeal
      Panelist, Appellate Judges Education Institute 2014 Summit, Dallas, TX (November 14, 2014)

      Taking Another Look at Second-Look Sentencing
      American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Seventh Annual Fall Institute, Washington, D.C. (October 23, 2014)

      Issues With Judges, Juries, and Social Media
      Moderator, SMU Science and Technology Law Review Social Media Law Symposium, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (October 17, 2014)

      Taking Dignity Seriously: Excavating the Backdrop of the Eighth Amendment
      Ethics Colloquy, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (September 30, 2014)

      Interview with Nomaan Merchant, Reporter
      Associated Press (September 5, 2014) (regarding the use of amicus briefs in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals)

      An Introduction to Torts
      Law Preview, Dallas, TX (August 6, 2014)

      On Mercy, Rehabilitation, and Offender Dignity
      Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Amelia Island, FL (August 4, 2014)

      An Introduction to Torts
      Law Preview, Austin, TX (July 22, 2014)

      Taking Dignity Seriously: Excavating the Backdrop of the Eighth Amendment
      Annual Law & Religion Roundtable, Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, MO (June 26, 2014)

      Eighth Amendment Dignity and Constitutional Punishment
      2014 Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN (May 29, 2014)

      Neuroscience and Neuroimaging Evidence in Court
      Forensic Group Meeting, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (May 14, 2014)

      Breakfast with Alan M. Dershowitz and Meghan J. Ryan 
      Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (April 29, 2014) (discussing capital punishment)

      Eighth Amendment Dignity and Constitutional Punishment
      Faculty Colloquium, Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, OR (April 1, 2014)

      Dignity and Rehabilitation
      Love and Law: What Would Law Be Like If We Organized It Around the Value of Christian, Agape Love?, Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, CA (February 8, 2014)

      The Guilty Mind and Wrongful Conduct: Areas of Uncertainty
      Moderator, SMU Criminal Justice Colloquium, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (January 24, 2014)

      Eighth Amendment Dignity and Constitutional Punishment
      SMU Criminal Justice Colloquium, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (January 23, 2014)

      Eighth Amendment Dignity and Constitutional Punishment
      Junior Faculty Forum, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (November 15, 2013)

      Eighth Amendment Dignity and Constitutional Punishment
      American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Sixth Annual Fall Institute, Washington, D.C. (October 31, 2013)

      Tortious Intentions
      Pre-Law Scholars Program, SMU Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dallas, TX (October 2, 2013)

      On Neuro-Dignity and -Diversity in Offender Rehabilitation, Treating the Criminal Offender Brain: Can We? Should We?
      University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN (September 27, 2013)

      Punishment, Dignity, and the Constitution
      5th Annual Southwest Criminal Law Workshop, University of California–Davis (September 6, 2013)

      Blaming Drugs
      Commentator for Shima Baradaran, 5th Annual Southwest Criminal Law Workshop, University of California–Davis (September 6, 2013)

      Using Social Media in Teaching: Classroom Blogging
      2013 Teaching Effectiveness Symposium, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (August 22, 2013)

      Dignity, Rehabilitation, and the Constitution
      Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Palm, Beach, FL (August 8, 2013)

      Juries and the Criminal Constitution
      2013 Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA (May 31, 2013)

      Science and the New Rehabilitation
      Faculty Forum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (April 22, 2013)

      Fighting Finalities in Sentencing
      Junior Faculty Forum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (April 19, 2013)

      Capital Punishment in the United States and Texas
      Death by Numbers Symposium: The Legal Path to Execution, Southern Methodist University,
      Dallas, TX (April 15, 2013)

      Science, Sentencing, and Certitude
      Wake Forest Journal of Law & Policy’s Symposium on “Finality in Sentencing,” Wake Forest University School of Law, Winston Salem, NC (April 5, 2013)

      Death and Rehabilitation
      Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Tempe, AZ (March 15, 2013)

      New Issues in Torts
      Moderator, Appellate Judges Education Institute 2012 Summit, New Orleans, LA (November 17, 2012)

      Death and Rehabilitation
      Ethics Colloquy, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (November 8, 2012)

      Juries and the Criminal Constitution
      American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Fifth Annual Fall Institute, Washington, D.C. (October 25, 2012)

      Tortious Intentions
      Pre-Law Scholars Program, SMU Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dallas, TX (September 12, 2012)

      Science and the New Rehabilitation
      Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Amelia Island, FL (July 31, 2012)

      Death and Rehabilitation
      2012 International Conference on Law and Society, Honolulu, HI (June 8, 2012)

      Science and the New Rehabilitation
      2012 International Conference on Law and Society, Honolulu, HI (June 5, 2012)

      The Landscape of the New Rehabilitation
      SMU Dedman School of Law Executive Board Meeting, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (May 14, 2012)

      Law After CSI
      Inside SMU, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (April 20, 2012)

      Breakthrough Science and the New Rehabilitation
      Interdisciplinary Law Workshop, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, IN (March 23, 2012)

      Breakthrough Science and the New Rehabilitation
      Fifteenth Annual Conference for the Association of the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, Fort Worth, TX (March 16, 2012)

      Science and the New Criminal Rehabilitation
      Law Faculty Research and Development Exchange, University of Arkansas School of Law, Fayetteville, AR (February 3, 2012)

      The New Utility and Morality of Stem Cell Research
      What Every Student Should Know About Cloning & Human Stem-Cell Research, SMU Federalist Society, Dallas, TX (January 18, 2012)

      A Jury’s Interpretation of Cruelty
      Southeastern Association of Law Schools 2011 Annual Conference, Hilton Head, SC (July 26, 2011)

      Law and Science
      2011 Appellate Judges Certificate Program, Santa Fe, NM (June 27, 2011 – July 1, 2011)

           The Future of Law and Science (July 1, 2011)
           Junk Science (June 30, 2011)
           The Interplay Among Law, Science, and Politics 
                 
      (June 29, 2011)
           Science and Causation (June 28, 2011)
           Science and Culpability (June 27, 2011)

      Total Retribution
      2011 Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (June 2, 2011)

      Science and Rehabilitation
      Sixth Annual Conference on Catholic Legal Thought, University of Oklahoma College of Law
      Norman, OK (May 18, 2011)

      Accounting for Wrongful Execution
      International Innocence Network Conference, Cincinnati, OH (April 9, 2011)

      Palsgrafian Torts
      Pre-Law Scholars Program, SMU Dedman College of Humanities and Sciencesm, Dallas, TX (March 23, 2011)

      Total Retribution
      Southwest Junior Law Professors Workshop, Arizona State University College of Law, Tempe, AZ (March 14, 2011)

      Total Retribution
      Fourteenth Annual Conference for the Association of the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, University of Nevada–Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV (March 12, 2011)

      Dallas County Exonerees Share Their Stories
      Moderator, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (March 3, 2011)

      Remedying Wrongful Execution
      Criminal Justice Forum, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (December 13, 2010)

      Total Retribution
      Junior Faculty Forum, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (November 5, 2010)

      Proximate Retribution
      Central States Law Schools Association, University of North Dakota School of Law, Grand Forks, ND (September 25, 2010)

      American Criminal Law and Procedure
      U.S. Department of State’s Rule of Law and Judicial Reform of Iraq Program, SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (May 5, 2010)

      Judging Cruelty
      Thirteenth Annual Conference for the Association of the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities, Brown University (March 27, 2010)

      The Impact of the Lisbon Treaty
      Panelist, Supreme Court Summit, Court of Justice of the European Union, Luxembourg (February 2010)

      Death, Drugs, and Desert
      Rule of Law Forum, SMU Dedman School of Law, (October 3, 2009)

      Does the Eighth Amendment Punishments Clause Prohibit Only Punishments That Are Both Cruel and Unusual?
      Faculty Works in Progress, University of Minnesota Law School (September 4, 2008)