Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor of Law
Director, Legal Data & Design Clinic
Associate Director for Legal Technologies at The Center for the Law of Intellectual Property and Technology
John and Frances Angelos Law Center, AL 718
Administrative Assistant: Katie Rolfes
410.837.4479 AL 707
J.D., Columbia University Law School
B.A., summa cum laude, University of California at Los Angeles
Areas of Expertise
Pretrial Detention and Bail
Innocence and Wrongful Convictions
Rhetoric and Argument
Before joining the UBalt Law faculty in 2010, Starger served as an Acting Assistant Professor of Lawyering at New York University School of Law. Starger graduated in 2002 from Columbia University Law School, where he was a recipient of the Jane Marks Murphy Prize (for Clinical Excellence), and a graduation speaker for his J.D. class. Following graduation, Starger clerked for Magistrate Judge Michael Dolinger in the Southern District of New York. From 2003 to 2007, he worked as a Staff Attorney at the Innocence Project at Cardozo Law School. At the Innocence Project, Starger was lead counsel on four DNA exonerations, including one from Oklahoma's death row.
Starger is the principal on the SCOTUS Mapping Project, a software-driven effort to map Supreme Court doctrine. Professor Starger has been honored for his innovative work in law and technology, named in 2014’s “Fastcase 50” and as a 2020 American Bar Association “Legal Rebel.” He is a member of the New York and Maryland bars.
Books and Book Chapters
Editor, The Value and Purpose of Law: Essays in Honor of M.N.S. Sellers (Franz Steiner Verlag 2019, Joshua Kassner and Colin Starger eds.).
A Separate Abridged Edition of the First Amendment, in Justice Scalia: Rhetoric and the Rule of Law (University of Chicago Press 2019, Jay Mootz and Brian Slocum eds.)
The Dialectic of Stare Decisis Doctrine, in Precedent in the United States Supreme Court (Christopher J. Peters, ed., 2013).
Articles and Essays
Whistling Dixie , CUNY L.R. Blog (Sept. 9, 2022), (with Peggy Davis and Aderson Francois).
A Butterfly in COVID: Structural Racism and Baltimore's Pretrial Legal System, 82 Md. L. Rev. 1 (2022) (with Douglas Colbert) (lead article).
The Argument that Cries Wolfish, MIT Computational Law Report (2020)
Legitimacy, Authority, and the Right to Affordable Bail , 26 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 589 (2018).
The Persistence of the Confederate Narrative , 84 Tenn. L. Rev 301 (with Peggy Davis and Aderson Francois). Interactive online version of article.
New Wine in Old Wineskins: Metaphor and Legal Research , 92 Notre Dame L. Rev. Online 1 (2016) (with Amy Sloan).
Constitutional Law and Rhetoric , 18 U. PA. J. CONST. L. 1347 (2016).
Mapping Supreme Court Doctrine: Civil Pleading , 7 Fed. Ct. L. Rev. 275 (2014) (with Scott Dodson).
The Virtue of Obscurity
, 59 Vill. L. Rev. Tolle Lege 17 (2013).
The Virtue of Obscurity (alternate link)
A Visual Guide to United States v. Windsor: Doctrinal Origins of Justice Kennedy’s Majority Opinion
, 108 Nw. U. L. Rev. Colloquy 130 (2013).
A Visual Guide to United States v. Windsor: Doctrinal Origins of Justice Kennedy's Majority Opinion (alternate link)
Fifty Years Before Brady
, 37 The Champion 34 (2013).
Fifty Years Before Brady (alternate link)
A Visual Guide to Maryland v. King + Maryland v. King: A Visual Guide Revisited, American Criminal Law Review (blog essays posted 3/20/13 and 6/19/13).
A Visual Guide to NFIB v. Sebelius , 2012 Cardozo L. Rev. de novo 316.
Expanding Stare Decisis: The Role of Precedent in the Unfolding Dialectic of Brady v. Maryland , 46 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 75 (2012).
Exile on Main Street: Competing Traditions and Due Process Dissent , 95 Marq. L. Rev. 1253 (2012).
Meaning and Metaphor in Trawling for Herring , 111 Colum. L. Rev. Sidebar 109 (2011).
The DNA of an Argument: A Case Study in Legal Logos , 99 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 1045 (2009).
Death and Harmless Error: A Rhetorical Response to Judging Innocence , 108 Colum. L. Rev. Sidebar 1 (2008).
Articles on Social Science Research Network
Selected Recent Media
Detention fees unfairly burden poor people, (Baltimore Sun, Jan 29, 2021)
Philly man has served 38 years for robbery of $1,200. Witnesses say he wasn’t even there, (Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov 23, 2020)
Bail Injustice in the time of COVID-19 (Baltimore Sun, Sept. 7, 2020)
Eyes in the Sky Over Baltimore, (WYPR – On the Record With Sheilah Kast, Feb 24, 2020)
A seminal 1990s event sparked Colin Starger’s devotion to aiding criminal defendants, inmates (ABA Law Journal, Sept. 19, 2019).
Bail reform hasn’t led to fewer held in jail, court records show, (Capital News Service, Jan. 1, 2019).
Attorneys press to dismiss top charges in Glenelg High hate crimes case on free-speech grounds, (Baltimore Sun, Dec. 7, 2018).
With cash bail down and releases up, stakeholders turn attention to pretrial services (Daily Record, Aug. 28, 2018).
Attorneys cite all-white jury, ask for new trial in wrongful detainment suit against Annapolis police (Capital Gazette, Aug. 24, 2018)
Reforms intended to end excessive cash bail in Md. are keeping more in jail longer (Washington Post, July 2, 2018).
The High Cost of Unlicensed Bail Bonds (The Atlantic, March 2, 2018)
Coding for Lawyers: Starger helps advance computer literacy (The Daily Record, January 28, 2018).
Prof. talks freedom of speech; mass comm. dept. hosts “Know Your Rights” workshop (October 23, 2017 – The Towerlight).
Lessons from the Pretrial Justice Clinic (August 17, 2017 -- Pretrial Justice Institute Webcast).
Law Reform to Protect Legal Innocence (April 5, 2017 - Light City Talk).
In Maryland, public defenders bear uneven burden (Dec. 16, 2016 – Associated Press).
Md.’s cash bail system costs taxpayers plenty (Nov. 10, 2016 – Sun Letter to Editor).
Woman who appealed high bail is ordered held without bail (Nov. 1, 2016 – Baltimore Sun).
Reflections of What Happened One Year Ago in Baltimore (April 22, 2016 – WBAL).
A Justice System Overwhelmed: Editorial by Professor Starger (Feb. 3, 2015 - Baltimore Sun).
Professor Starger helps exonerate Dallas man after 24 years (Oct. 13, 2014 - Dallas News).
Clemency for Snowden (Jan. 23, 2014 - WYPR).
Comments on Anne Arundel Surveillance (March 5, 2013 - Baltimore Sun).
Comments on Maryland v. King (Feb. 24, 2013 - Baltimore Sun).
Comments on Baltimore City Speed Camera Controversy (Dec. 25, 2012 - Baltimore Sun).