Joshua Tepfer

Tepfer, Joshua

Clinical Assistant Professor of Law
Project Co-Director, Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth

Phone: (312) 503-6298

SSRN Author Page | Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Related Links: Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth | CWC Blog

Joshua Tepfer is Project Director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law. Josh has been involved with more than ten exonerations of convicted men, including as legal counsel in two cases known as the Dixmoor Five and Englewood Four. Those cases involved nine men exonerated by DNA evidence two decades after they were arrested, and seven of them confessed as teenagers during police interrogation. Josh lectures and writes frequently on issues related to interrogations, false confessions, and wrongful convictions of youth, and he is co-author of the first study specifically chronicling  exonerated youth: Arresting Development, Rutgers Law Review (2010). Last year, his amicus brief in J.D.B. v. North Carolina was cited favorably by the U.S. Supreme Court in Justice Sotomayor’s majority opinion.

Areas of Expertise

  • Juvenile Justice
  • Criminal Law and Procedure

Selected Publications

  • Reducing Risk: An Executive Guide to Effective Juvenile Interview and Interrogation in publication of international association of chiefs of police in partnership with the office of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention, office of justice programs, u.s. department of justice (forthcoming September 2012) (with Steven A. Drizin, Laura H. Nirider, & James Nawoichyk).
  • Adjudicated Juveniles and Collateral Relief in 64 maine law review 553 (2012) (with Laura H. Nirider).
  • Convenient Scapegoats: Juvenile Confessions and Exculpatory DNA in Cook County, Illinois in 18 cardozo journal of law & gender 631-684 (2012) (with Craig M. Cooley, and Tara Thompson).
  • Combatting Contamination in Confession Cases in 79 university of chicago law review 837-862 (2012) (with Laura Nirider, and Steven A. Drizin).
  • Solicited Review of Marsha L. Levick and Elizabeth-Ann Tierney’s The United States Supreme Court Adopts a Reasonable Juvenile Standard in J.D.B. v. North Carolina for Purposes of the Miranda Custody Analysis: Can a More Reasoned Justice System for Juveniles Be Far Behind? in 47 harvard civil rights-civil liberties law review (2013).
  • Teens and Children Twice As Likely to Falsely Confess to Crimes When Questioned in reclaiming futures (July 6, 2011).
  • Interview and Interrogation of Juveniles in training key #652, international association of chiefs of police (2011) (with Laura H. Nirider).
  • Arresting Development: Convictions of Innocent Youth in 62 rutgers law review 887 (2010) (with Laura H. Nirider, and Lynda M. Tricarico ).
  • Untrue Confessions: Why Confess to a Crime You Didn’t Commit? in playboy (November 2009).
View additional publications


  • BA, Grinnell College
  • JD, University of Minnesota Law School

Prior Appointments

  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Northwestern University School of Law