Barbara Spellman headshot
BS

Barbara A. Spellman

Professor
Unit: School of Law
Department: School of Law
Office location and address
WB302F
580 Massie Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Education
Ph.D. University of California at Los Angeles 1993
J.D. New York University School of Law 1982
B.A. Wesleyan University 1979
Biography

Barbara A. Spellman joined the faculty of the UVA Department of Psychology in 1997 and moved to the Law School in 2008.  She teaches evidence and various courses on the intersection of psychology and law (e.g., Behavioral Decision Making and Law; Empirical Methods in Law).

Spellman received her law degree from NYU in 1982. In the mid-1980s she practiced tax law at Chadbourne & Parke in New York City and worked as a writer and editor at Matthew Bender Company. She then moved to UCLA and earned a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology. Her psychology research focused on memory, analogical reasoning and causal reasoning. Now she writes about judicial reasoning, forensics and the replication crisis in science.

Spellman has published in both psychology journals and law reviews. She edited a special issue of Psychonomic Bulletin & Review (2010) on emerging trends in psychology and law research. From 2011-15 she served as editor-in-chief of Perspectives on Psychological Science. Her book (with Michael Saks), The Psychological Foundations of Evidence Law, was published in 2016.

USEM 1570: University Seminar
Credits: 2–3
Consult the University Seminars web page at www.virginia.edu/provost/USEMS.html (copy and paste Web address into browser) for specific descriptions.
LAW 6104: Evidence
Credits: 3–4
The course will cover questions of relevance, hearsay, privilege, and expert testimony, among others, and it will focus largely on problems arising in concrete factual settings, as opposed to traditional case analysis. Major emphasis will be placed on the Federal Rules of Evidence, which now apply in the courts of roughly 40 states as well as the federal system.
LAW 7126: Behavioral Decisionmaking and the Law
Credits: 3
Economics assumes people are rational, law assumes people are compliant, but is it really so? In recent years both disciplines have come to incorporate more and more research from psychology and other social sciences about actual human behavior. We will read research about factors that affect human decision-making and then apply it to substantive and procedural issues in law.
LAW 7144: Negotiation
Credits: 3
The goal of this class is to introduce students to negotiation theory, with a focus on the collaborative negotiation method used by most successful negotiators today.
LAW 8811: Independent Research
Credits: 1
This course is a semester-long independent research project resulting in a substantial research paper supervised and graded by a selected law school faculty member.
LAW 8812: Independent Research
Credits: 2
This course is a semester-long independent research project resulting in a substantial research paper supervised and graded by a selected law school faculty member
LAW 8813: Independent Research
Credits: 3
This course is a semester-long independent research project resulting in a substantial research paper supervised and graded by a selected law school faculty member.
LAW 8818: Independent Research (YR)
This course is the first semester of a yearlong independent research project resulting in a substantial research paper supervised and graded by a selected law school faculty member.
LAW 8819: Independent Research (YR)
Credits: 3
This course is the second semester of a yearlong independent research project resulting in a substantial research paper supervised and graded by a selected law school faculty member.
LAW 9089: Seminar in Ethical Values (YR)
This is the first semester of a yearlong seminar designed to enhance students' understanding of ethical issues and address the broader ethical and moral responsibilities of the lawyer as citizen and leader.
LAW 9090: Seminar in Ethical Values (YR)
Credits: 1
This is the second semester of a yearlong seminar designed to enhance students' understanding of ethical issues and address the broader ethical and moral responsibilities of the lawyer as citizen and leader.
LAW 9297: Law and Psychology: Wrongful Convictions Seminar
Credits: 3
This seminar course addresses the psychology research regarding behaviors in the criminal justice system -- by police, prosecutors, jurors, judges, and witnesses -- that can result in wrongful convictions.
LAW 9327: Law and Social Science Colloquium
Credits: 1
In each meeting, a leading scholar will present a current research paper using the methodology of law and social science.