The first woman appointed to the regular faculty, as well as the first to hold an endowed chair and the first emerita at Stanford Law School, Barbara Babcock has taught and written in both the fields of civil and criminal procedure for many years. She has also pioneered the study of women in the legal profession. Most notably, Babcock is the author of Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz, (Stanford Press, 2011), a biography of the first woman lawyer in the west, and the founder of the public defender movement.
Before joining the Stanford faculty in 1972, Babcock served as the first director of the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia. On leave from Stanford, she was assistant attorney general for the Civil Division in the U.S. Department of Justice in the Carter administration. 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. Professor Babcock is a distinguished teacher, being a four-time winner of the John Bingham Hurlbut Award for Excellence in Teaching at Stanford Law School. She is also a recipient of the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.