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William W. Berry III

Will Berry is an Associate Professor of Law and Frank Montague, Jr. Professor of Legal Studies and Professionalism at the University of Mississippi, where he has served as Director of the Cambridge Summer Abroad Program since 2012.

Professor Berry’s scholarly work to date has been primarily in the areas of capital punishment, sentencing, substantive criminal law, and sports and entertainment law.  In particular, he has written extensively on the scope of the Eighth Amendment and its application to criminal sentencing.

A productive scholar, Professor Berry has published widely, including articles in the Texas Law Review, the Southern California Law Review, the Wisconsin Law Review, the Ohio State Law Journal, the Alabama Law Review, the Georgia Law Review, the Florida Law Review, the American Criminal Law Review (Georgetown)and the Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology (Northwestern). He is also co-author of Entertainment, Media, and the Law (5th edition)(with Paul Weiler and Gary Myers).

In addition, Professor Berry facilitated the development of a new law journal at Ole Miss, the Mississippi Sports Law Review, which commenced during the 2011-12 academic year.  His scholarship is available on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN).

During his time at Ole Miss, he has taught a variety of classes in the areas of criminal law, sports law, and labor & employment law. Currently, he teaches criminal law, sentencing law, a capital punishment seminar, and sports law.

A gifted teacher, Professor Berry won the Elsie M. Hood Award in 2013, a university-wide award given to the Outstanding Teacher at the University of Mississippi.  Professor Berry is also a prior recipient of the Outstanding Law Professor award, the law school’s teaching award.

In addition to his scholarly work and teaching, Professor Berry has been active in a variety of service activities on campus. Currently, he serves as the chair of the University Academic Discipline Committee. In 2013-14, he was selected to participate as a fellow in the Southeastern Conference’s Academic Leadership Development Program. In addition, he has served on the Faculty Senate, the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, and the Advisory Board for the Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning.

Professor Berry received his Doctor of Philosophy (D. Phil.) in law from the University of Oxford (UK), where he also received an Master’s of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Criminology.  Supervised by Dr. Carolyn Hoyle, his doctoral thesis assessed the use of proportionality review in capital cases by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Previously, Professor Berry received his law degree from Vanderbilt University and his undergraduate degree in English from the University of Virginia. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Thomas A. Wiseman, Jr. in the Middle District of Tennessee and the Honorable Gilbert S. Merritt, Jr. on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  In addition, Professor Berry practiced law in Washington, D.C. with the firm of Shea & Gardner (now Goodwin Procter).  He has litigation experience in a variety of areas including complex commercial litigation, products liability, business torts, criminal law, and employment litigation.

Representative publications:

Entertainment, Media, and the Law (5th edition), West Academic Publishing (with Paul Weiler and Gary Myers)(2015).

Eighth Amendment Presumptions, 89 S. Cal. L. Rev. 67 (2015).

Implementing Just Mercy, 94 Texas L. Rev. 331 (2015).

Amending Amateurism, 68 Ala. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2016).

The Mandate of Miller, 51 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 327 (2014).

The European Prescription for Ending the Death Penalty, 2011 Wisconsin L. Rev. 1003 (2011).

More Different than Life, Less Different than Death, 71 Ohio State L.J. 1109 (2010).