Brian Sheppard   


Associate Professor

  • Degrees:

  • S.J.D., Harvard Law School LL.M., Harvard Law School J.D., Boston College Law School B.A., College of the Holy Cross
  • Contact:

  • Tel:  973-642-8867
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Courses:

  • Professional Responsibility, Torts, Torts II, Entertainment Law

Professor Sheppard’s current research uses the insights of legal philosophy and the methodologies of behavioral psychology in an exploration of how legal and social norms affect those that are subject to them. His other academic interests include legal ethics, jurisprudence, torts, entertainment law, international law, and legal innovation. He has published work on the Vanderbilt Law Review, Yale Press, the Harvard Law Review Forum, the Florida State University Law Review, and the New England Law Review. In 2011, he was a co-author of the report analyzing the legality of the 2009 Honduran coup for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Honduras, a project lauded by numerous governments as well as by the OAS and the UN. Professor Sheppard has also served as an empirical researcher and consultant for organizations such as the Perception Institute and the Last Resort Exoneration Project.

Professor Sheppard joined Seton Hall as an associate professor in 2010 after serving as a Climenko Fellow at Harvard Law School, where he recently earned his S.J.D. In the years before his fellowship, he served as a law clerk in Boston for Justice Martha B. Sosman of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and for Judge Levin H. Campbell of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. While studying at Harvard Law School, he continued to work at the First Circuit as a staff attorney, working largely on criminal and immigration cases. He also coordinated the Law Teaching Colloquium of the school’s Graduate Program. Professor Sheppard earned his LL.M. from Harvard Law School and his J.D., cum laude, from Boston College Law School. He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.



Norm Supercompliance and the Status of Soft Law, 62 Buff. L. Rev. 787 (2014)

For the Sake of Argument: A Behavioral Analysis of Whether and How Legal Argument Matters to Decisionmaking, 40 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 537 (2013) (with Andrew Moshirnia)

Judging Under Pressure, 39 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 931 (2012)

Calculating the Standard Error: Just How Much Should Empirical Studies Curb Our Enthusiasm for Legal Standards?, 124 Harv. L. Rev. F. 92 (2011)

Evaluating Norms: An Empirical Analysis of the Relationship Between Norm-Content, Operator, and Charitable Behavior, 63 Vand. L. Rev. (2010) (with Fiery Cushman)

Attitude Issues:The Difficulty of Using Personal and Ideological Characteristics to Predict Justice Martha B. Sosman's Decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, 42 New Eng. L. Rev. 407 (2008) (invited)


Report to the Commission on Truth and Reconciliation of Honduras: Constitutional Issues, (2011) (with Noah Feldman and David Landau)

"Josiah Quincy, Jr.,", in YALE BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN LAW (2009) (Roger Newman ed., Yale Press)


Fixing Honduras, Los Angeles Times (June 7, 2011) (with Noah Feldman and David Landau)