W. David Ball

Professor of Law

Professor W. David Ball works primarily in the field of criminal justice, writing and teaching in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure, sentencing and corrections. His articles have been published in the Columbia Law Review, the Yale Law and Policy Review, the American Journal of Criminal Law, and the Stanford Law and Policy Review, among other journals.  In 2013 he was voted 1L Professor of the Year.

Prior to becoming a full time member of the Santa Clara University School of Law faculty in 2009, Ball served as a Social Justice Teaching Fellow at Santa Clara, a Research Fellow at the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, and a law clerk for the Honorable John T. Noonan, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. Before law school he was an actor, writer, and filmmaker in New York City. He graduated with highest distinction from the University of North Carolina, where he was a Morehead-Cain Scholar, and got a second BA from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Ball is currently Co-Chair of the Corrections Committee of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section.  He has also served as the Chair of the Public Safety Working Group for Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Law and Policy and a member of the Advisory Board of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, photography, and playing with his cat-sized dog, Nellie.

Teaching Evaluations


J.D., Stanford University

B.A./M.A., Oxford University

B.A., University of North Carolina

Areas of Specialization

Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Sentencing & Corrections, Islamic Law