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Jennifer Kinsley

Jennifer Kinsley
Associate Dean for Professional Development
Director, Field Placement Program
Professor of Law


"I have always operated from the belief that law is a service profession. We learn by doing, and we grow by giving. The externship program offers Chase students the opportunity to not only put law in motion, but also to serve clients, community, and the profession as a whole. I'm proud to be a part of an institution that values helping others."


Prof. Jennifer Kinsley is one of the nation’s leading Constitutional law scholars and practitioners.  Her research, which has been widely cited and is included in leading Constitutional law textbooks, focuses on the First Amendment right of free expression, particularly as it is applied within the context of criminal cases, and related criminal justice reform.  Prof. Kinsley’s research on the intersection of psychology and speech and the criminalization of speech has been published in leading law reviews, including the Emory Law Review, the Cincinnati Law Review, the Richmond Law Review, the Louisville Law Review, the New Mexico Law Review, the Loyola Chicago Law Journal, and the Vanderbilt Entertainment Law & Technology Law Journal.  In the field, she has successfully represented thousands of clients whose free speech and civil rights have been persecuted by the government, including Black Lives Matter protestors, artists, filmmakers, adult businesses, human trafficking survivors, juveniles sentenced to life in prison, and those facing the death penalty.  Her work is regularly featured in the national news, including on NBC Nightly News, in the New York Times and Washington Post, and as part of Kim Kardashian West’s The Justice Project documentary on the Oxygen Network.  In addition, Prof. Kinsley regularly submits amicus briefs to the United States Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals on important issues of constitutional law.  She has lectured around the world on matters of free speech law, including at the Supreme Court of Turkey and to aspiring civil rights lawyers in Russia.

At Chase, Prof. Kinsley serves in a number of roles.  In addition to teaching Constitutional Law and litigation skills courses, Prof. Kinsley also directs the field placement program, which enables students to earn academic credit for work in the field.  Prof. Kinsley routinely mentors students to help them transition from the classroom to the day-to-day practice of law.  Through her role as the Associate Dean for Professional Development, Prof. Kinsley oversees the law school’s bar exam success program, which includes the early introduction of bar-tested subjects and formats and focused law school courses that improve students’ test-taking skills.  Prof. Kinsley also serves the University as a member of the Faculty Senate, the Faculty Benefits Committee, and the Parking Appeals Board.      

In her spare time, Prof. Kinsley is an active community volunteer.  She serves on the Board of Trustees for Contemporary Dance Theater, a Cincinnati-based arts organization that presents modern dance companies from around the world, and feeds the homeless and food-insecure once a month through the Sunday Light Live program in Covington.  She enjoys distance running, word games, college sports (Go Gators!), and spending time with her husband and five busy children.



  • BA English, University of Florida
  • JD, Duke University School of Law

Courses Taught

  • Advanced Field Placement Clinic
  • Civil Procedure
  • Client Centered Practice
  • Constitutional Law I and II
  • Field Placement Clinic
  • Field Placement Seminar
  • Legal Analysis and Problem Solving
  • Remote Representation
  • Semester in Practice Program
  • Trial Advocacy


The Role of Political Affiliation in Judicial Sentencing Outcomes, ___ Wayne L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming Fall 2020)

Black Speech Matters, ___ Louisville L. Rev. ___ (work in progress) (invited submission)

Private Free Speech, 58 U. Louisville L. Rev. 309 (Spring 2020) (invited submission)

Secondary Legislation, 88 U. Cin. L. Rev. 101 (2019) (accepted for presentation at the International Privacy and Government Accountability Forum, Universite de Paris Pantheon-Sorbonne, June 2018)

Therapeutic Expression, 68 Emory L. Rev. 5 (2019) (invited submission as part of Randolph W. Thrower Symposium at Emory Law School)

Rethinking Bail Reform (coauthor), 52 U. Rich. L. Rev. 4 (2018)

Strategic Litigation:  A Free Speech and Free Assembly Case Study, Chapter in “Strategic Litigation of Public Interest Cases:  US and Russian Best Practices” Google Press Moscow 2017 (176 pages)

Amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court On behalf of the National Association of Public Defense Aksu v. California, No. 16-1009 (April 14, 2017)

Amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court On behalf of the First Amendment Lawyers Association Keefe v. Adams, No. 16-1035 (March 26, 2017)

Amicus curiae brief to the New York Court of Appeals On behalf of the First Amendment Lawyers Association For the People Theaters v. City of New York, No. APL-2015-273 (March 18, 2017)

Chill, 48 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 253 (2016)

Amicus curiae brief to the United States Court of Appeals For the Ninth Circuit On behalf of the First Amendment Lawyers Association and Woodhull Freedom Foundation Erotic Service Provider Legal, Education & Research Project v. Gascon, No. 16-15927 (Oct. 16, 2016)

Amicus curiae brief to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on behalf of the Center for Democracy & Technology, the First Amendment Lawyers Association, and David G. Post, Doe v. Snyder, Nos. 15-2346, 2486 (Jan. 11, 2016)

"Presidential Attacks on Free Speech" Best Lawyers: Women in the Law (Spring 2017)

The Myth of Obsolete Obscenity, 33 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J. 607 (2015)

Amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the National Association for Public Defense, the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Ohio Association of Criminal Defese LawyersBright v. Gallia County, No. 14-877 (Feb. 20, 2015)

First Amendment Sexual Privacy: Adult Sexting and Federal Age-Verification Legislation, 45 N. M. L. Rev. 1 (2014) SSRN

Amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the First Amendment Lawyers Association in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, No. 13-193 (March 2014)

Sexual Privacy in the Internet Age:  How Substantive Due Process Protects Online Obscenity, 16 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. L. 103 (2013) SSRN

“When Vanishing Photos Become Vanishing Evidence: Legal Questions Raised by the Snapchat Smartphone App,” Lex Loci (Northern Kentucky Bar Association) (June 2013)

Amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court On behalf of the First Amendment Lawyers Association in United States v. Jones, 132 S.Ct. 945 (Jan. 23, 2012)

Amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the First Amendment Lawyers Association City of Littleton v. Z.J. Gifts D-4, LLC, 541 U.S. 774 (2004)

Essay, “She Was Juror Number 9" Cincinnati Bar Magazine (Summer 2008)

Speaking Engagements and Recognitions

Best Practices for Alumni Engagement, Bluegrass Academic Leadership Academy Virtual Symposium, Midway University, October 23, 2020

To Infinity and Beyond: Enhancing Externship Professional’s Academic Profile, Externships 10 Virtual Conference, Syracuse University Law School, October 23, 2020

The Role of Political Affiliation in Judicial Sentencing Outcomes, NKU Chase College of Law Faculty Workshop, September 17, 2020

Dismantling Commercial Speech, SEALS Constitutional Law Works in Progress Panel, July 31, 2020

Girls To Thrive: A Conversation with Alexis Martin, Clinton Foundation, May 21, 2020

Digital Dangers: Cyberbullying and Sexting in Middle and High School Populations, Northern Kentucky University

School Counseling Masters Practicum, October 29, 2019

Networking Tools and Tips, Federal Bar Association Student Chapter, Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law, September 26, 2019

New and Established Voices in Constitutional Law, Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Constitutional Law Section, Boca Raton, Florida, July 29, 2019

Supreme Court Update: Individual Rights, Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Constitutional Law Section, Boca Raton, Florida, July 29, 2019

Speech and Privacy, International Free Speech Forum, Pazmany Peter Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary, June 3, 2019

Children in Prison: Legal Pathways for Children to be Tried and Sentenced as Adults, Glenn W. Weaver Institute for Law and Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati College of Law, May 3, 2019

Diversity and Inclusion Dialogue:  First Amendment, Northern Kentucky University, March 19, 2019

Hate Speech (with Nadine Strossen), Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law, February 12, 2019

Dismantling Commercial Speech, International Free Speech Forum, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, December 6, 2018

Therapeutic Expression, Spotlight on Scholarship (selected participant), Northern Kentucky University, October 25, 2018

Therapeutic Expression, University of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky University Scholarship Exchange, University of Cincinnati College of Law, October 3, 2018

Careers in Advocacy, Panel Presentation sponsored by Chase Advocacy Center, NKU Chase College of Law, October 2, 2018

Secondary Legislation, Selected for Presentation in International Privacy and Governmental Transparency Forum, University of Paris Pantheon-Sorbonne (June 2018)

Therapeutic Expression, Panel Presentation, Emory Law School Thrower Symposium (invited participant) (February 2018)

Rethinking Bail Reform, Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law (October 2017)

Fake News and the First Amendment, Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law (August 2017)

Is Campus Free Speech Really Free?, University of Cincinnati Law School (April 2017)

Secondary Legislation, NKU Chase College of Law Faculty Workshop (February 2017)

Alternative First Amendment Decisions, First Amendment Lawyers Association Winter 2017 Meeting, San Diego, CA (February 2017)

Developments in Commercial Speech Law, First Amendment Lawyers Association Winter 2017 Meeting, San Diego, CA (February 2017)

Larry Flynt: Smut Peddler or Constitutional Hero?, Northern Kentucky University Six @ Six Lecture Series, Carnegie Library, Covington, KY (October 2016)

The Right of Free Speech on College Campuses, Indian Hill Church, Cincinnati, OH (September 2016)

Chill, NKU Chase College of Law Faculty Workshop (September 2016)

Introduction to Criminal Law, High School Law Interest Day, NKU Chase College of Law (June 2016)

Free Speech Strategic Litigation, Urals Human Rights School, Yekaterinburg, Russia (February 2016)

The History of the American First Amendment, Yekaterinburg Law School, Yekaterinburg, Russia (February 2016)

Chill, First Amendment International Roundtable, University of Louisville Brandeis College of Law (December 2015)

Co-Presenter,The Nuances and Aggravations of ‘Our Judicial Federalism’: A Civil Procedure Review, First Amendment Lawyers Association, Winter 2015 Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada (February 2015)

Guest Lecturer, The History of Modern Obscenity Law, Lindenwood University, St. Louis, Missouri (January 2015)

Supreme Court Update, University of Cincinnati Law School (January 2015)

Supreme Court Update, Hamilton County, Ohio Public Defender Training Seminar (November 2014)

Interviewed by WKRC Channel 12 in a story about First Amendment rights, “Tank Owner Arrested at Cruise-In” (October 15, 2014).

Guest Lecturer, The Sociology of Surveillance, NKU Department of Sociology (September 2014)

The Private First Amendment, Developing Ideas Conference, University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky (May 2014)

Panel Presentation,Transgender Issues in the Law, University of Cincinnati Law School, Cincinnati, Ohio (March 2014)

Challenges and Benefits of Distance Learning in Experiential Placements Panel Presentation, Externships 7 Conference, University of Denver Law School, Denver, Colorado (February 2014)

2257 and Personal Privacy, First Amdendment Lawyers Association Winter Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii (February 2014)

United States Supreme Court and Ohio Supreme Court Case Law Update, Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Annual Seminar, University of Cincinnati College of Law, Cincinnati, OH (January 2005-07, 2009-14)

2013 Supreme Court Case Law Update, Lawyers Club of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH (January 2014)

Quoted in, Carden ‘Gets the Art of the Possible:’ Ethics Probe, Residency, Lack of Other Candidates Raise Concerns for Some, Cincinnati Enquirer, (December 3, 2013)

Private Communication or Federal Crime?: Adult Sexting and Federal Age-Verification Legislation, NKU Chase College of Law Faculty Workshop (September 2013)

Civil Liberties & National Security: Is It Possible To Have Both?, Democracy Square Live! Presentation, NKU Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement (April 2013)

American Protection of Online Expression, Justice Academy of Turkey, Ankara, Turkey (March 2013)

The Occupy Wall Street Movement and its Implications on Free Speech in America, Ankara University Law Faculty, Ankara, Turkey (March 2013)

Panel Presentation, Hate Crimes, Social Media & Justice, NKU College of Informatics/Chase Law + Informatics Institute (November 2012)

Expert Witness, First Amendment Attorney Fees, White River Amusement Pub v. Town of Hartford, D. Vt. No. 1:02cv320 (May 2008)

The First Amendment and Popular Culture, The University of Cincinnati Institute for Learning In Retirement, Cincinnati, Ohio (November 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011)

University of Cincinnati School of Law,Symposium, “What’s Wrong with the Hamilton County Public Defender System?” (April 2004)

Guest Lecturer, “Governmental Regulation of Adult Businesses,” Sociology Department, Northern Kentucky University (Summer 2008, 2009, 2010, Fall 2012)

Instructor, Children’s Law Center Juvenile Defender Summit,Juvenile Defender Trial Practice Symposium; Presentation, “Juvenile Sex Offender Registration Law and Practice” (February 2011)

Presentation, “Federal Habeas Corpus,”International Innocence Network Conference (April 2011)

First Amendment Lawyers Association (2004-2013):

  • Presentation, “Grand Jury Investigations, Search Warrants, and Subpoenas”
  • Presentation, “Blakely and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines”
  • Presentation, “Update on 18 USC 2257 and Related Litigation”
  • Presentation, “Obscenity Law Update”
  • Presentation, “The Adam Walsh Act and Efforts to Block Its Enforcement”
  • Presentation, “Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure”
  • Presentation, “Know Your Enemies: An Update on Pro-Family Opposition”
  • Presentation, “Sex Offender Registration Laws Update”  

Presentation, “Legal Issues with Adult Internet Websites,”Internext Conference (February 2008)

Presentation, “Representing Adult Entertainment Clients,”Southeastern Sports and Entertainment Lawyers Conference (November 2006)


Awards and Honors:

NKU Faculty Awards, Excellent Performance by a Faculty Member for Excellence in Public Engagement, Chase College of Law Nominee (Spring 2014)

Super Lawyers Rising Star, First Amendment (2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)

Best Lawyers in America, First Amendment (2013, 2014, 2015)

Children’s Law Center Child Advocacy Partnership Award (2007)

City Beat Best Pro Bono Work Award (2004, 2008)