The first woman appointed to the regular faculty, as well as the first woman to hold an endowed chair and the first emerita, at Stanford Law School, Barbara Babcock is an expert in criminal and civil procedure. She is also known nationwide for her research into the history of women in the legal profession and, in particular, for her research into the life of California’s pioneering female lawyer and inventor of the public defender, Clara Foltz, whose biography she is currently writing.
A former assistant attorney general for the Civil Division in the U.S. Department of Justice, Professor Babcock is a distinguished teacher, being the only four-time winner of the John Bingham Hurlbut Award for Excellence in Teaching at Stanford Law School. Before joining the Stanford faculty in 1972, she served as a staff attorney and then as the first director of the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia. Upon her graduation from law school, she clerked for Judge Henry Edgerton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and worked for the noted criminal defense attorney, Edward Bennett Williams.