E. Lea Johnston

Associate Professor
Assistant Director, Criminal Justice Center

Mailing Address: Box #117625 Gainesville, FL 32611
Phone: 352-273-0794
SSRN   Vita [PDF]


A.B., Princeton University
J.D. (cum laude), Harvard Law School


E. Lea Johnston is Associate Professor of Law and Assistant Director of the Criminal Justice Center at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. She earned her A.B. from Princeton University and her J.D. (cum laude) from Harvard Law School. She previously served as a litigation associate at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, D.C., and director of the Maryland Public Interest Research Group in Baltimore, MD. She clerked for Judge Richard Tallman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Her research interests include criminal law and psychiatry; sentencing; and how criminal law and procedure respond to individuals with serious mental illnesses.

Her recent publications include Vulnerability and Desert: A Theory of Sentencing and Mental Illness, 103 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 147 (2013); Theorizing Mental Health Courts, 89 WASH. U. L. REV. 519 (2012); Representational Competence: Defining the Limits of the Right to Self-Representation at Trial, 86 NOTRE DAME L. REV. 523 (2011); and Setting the Standard: A Critique of Bonnie’s Competency Standard and the Potential of Problem-Solving Theory for Self-Representation at Trial, 43 UC DAVIS L. REV. 1605 (2010). Johnston’s proposed standard for representational competence was favorably cited by the California Supreme Court in 2012.


Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Mental Health Law.

Criminal Law

Criminal Procedure – Adversary System

Mental Health Law and Sentencing


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