Dennis profile

Andrea L. Dennis

Andrea Dennis is Professor of Law at the University of Georgia School of Law. Her scholarship explores criminal defense lawyering, race and criminal justice, criminal informants and cooperators, youth advocacy, legal socialization of youth and the cradle-to-prison pipeline. She has published a number of law review articles, including the seminal article on the use of rap lyrics as evidence in criminal trials.

Abenaa Owusu-Bempah

Abenaa Owusu-Bempah is Assistant Professor of Law at the London School of Economics. Her scholarship focuses on criminal procedure, the law of evidence and criminal law, with a particular emphasis on fair trial rights. Abenaa’s research explores the admissibility and use of rap music as evidence in criminal trials in England and Wales.

John Hamasaki

John Hamasaki is a criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco, CA. His practice focuses on defending constitutional protections in complex criminal cases implicating civil rights and civil liberties.  He has worked on a number of high profile cases, including one involving rapper Laz Tha Boy, whose rap lyrics were used as criminal evidence. He is routinely called upon for legal commentary by national media organizations.


Jeffrey Urdangen

Jeffrey Urdangen is Clinical Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Criminal Defense at Northwestern University. He has been lead counsel in dozens of jury trials in both State and Federal court, and he has extensive experience in the representation of persons charged with capital crimes. He has represented defendants whose lyrics have been used against them in criminal cases.

Jack Lerner

Jack Lerner is Clinical Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law and Director of the UCI Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology Clinic. He is lead author of the forthcoming “Rap on Trial Practice Guide,” a comprehensive guide for defense counsel dealing with rap lyrics and videos in criminal proceedings. In preparing the Guide, Lerner and his co-author Prof. Charis Kubrin interviewed attorneys and experts, and led a team of students who reviewed dozens of cases and briefs to create the forthcoming “Rap on Trial Case Compendium and Brief Bank.”