Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Former Judge Advocate Rachel VanLandingham Appointed to Southwestern Faculty June 24, 2014
Former Judge Advocate Rachel VanLandingham Appointed to Southwestern Faculty

Rachel E. VanLandingham, a military law expert and 20-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force (USAF), has been appointed to the Southwestern Law School full-time faculty as an Associate Professor of Law beginning Fall 2014. She will teach in the areas of criminal law and procedure. A Judge Advocate for more than a decade, she also looks forward to teaching in the area of national security law in the future.

In announcing the appointment, Dean Susan Prager said, "Professor VanLandingham brings extraordinary experience in international, criminal and military law, as well as several years of law teaching experience in military and private higher education settings. Her expertise and unique perspective will be a tremendous asset for Southwestern."

During Professor VanLandingham's military career, she served as a military prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, appellate defense attorney and nuclear surety inspector, stationed in the United States, South Korea, Italy and the Middle East.

Professor VanLandingham said she was drawn to Southwestern because of "the drive evident in Southwestern students to improve themselves and their community, as well as the amazing energy, intellect and collegiality of the faculty." 

Professor VanLandingham was most recently the Bruce R. Jacob Visiting Assistant Professor at Stetson University College of Law, where she taught legal ethics, criminal procedure, civil procedure and international law from 2012 to 2014. Before joining the Stetson faculty, she was the Deputy Department Head of the Department of Law and Assistant Professor of Law at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she managed a legal department of 19 professors and taught international law and military law courses.

From 2000 to 2012, Professor VanLandingham served on active duty with the USAF Judge Advocate General's Corps. She was the legal advisor for international law at Headquarters, U.S. Central Command, where she advised on operational and international legal issues related to the armed conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. She also served as the Command's Chief Liaison to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and traveled throughout those countries in efforts to improve procedural safeguards and humane treatment standards for detainees in U.S. custody. In 2013, she testified before the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel, a congressionally-mandated body chartered to examine sexual assault in the U.S. military. She is also Vice President of the National Institute of Military Justice.

Professor VanLandingham's recent scholarship explores the procedural and normative elements of decision-making and the development of norms in national security law, military criminal law and international law. Her work has appeared in the Cardozo Law Review, Denver Journal of International Law and Policy and Valparaiso University Law Review, with a forthcoming article in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. She is currently co-authoring an Oxford University text regarding the operationalization of law across the spectrum of U.S. military operations. 

A 1992 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, where she earned her B.S. in Political Science, Professor VanLandingham completed her Master of Public Management, emphasis in national security, from the University of Maryland, College Park as a MacArthur Scholar in 1994. She received her J.D. with high honors in 2000 from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was inducted into the Chancellor's Society, and her LL.M. in Military Law (International and Operational Law Specialty) in 2006 from the Judge Advocate General's School, where she was named to the Commandant's List.