Dr Tara Lai Quinlan is a qualified American lawyer (New York), and joined Birmingham Law School in 2021 as an Assistant Professor in Law and Criminal Justice. Dr. Quinlan was promoted to Associate Professor in 2023. Dr Quinlan’s empirical legal research and teaching focus on criminal law, policing, disproportionality and diversity in the criminal justice system, and counterterrorism. Dr Quinlan has previously taught at institutions including University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, London School of Economics, and Northeastern University School of Law.
Dr. Quinlan recently completed her first book, Police Diversity: Beyond The Blue (Bristol: Policy Press 2023). The book compares US and UK experiences of police diversity through the lens of police culture, and considers the implications for police reform. The manuscript includes interviews with trailblazing US and UK police leaders.
Dr. Quinlan’s doctoral research examined counterterrorism policing partnerships and engagement with Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities, and involved dozens of interviews with US and UK police and counterterrorism leaders.
Dr. Quinlan has authored works in the area of Bourdieusian criminology including an important piece on understanding policing culture through a Bourdieusian lens: (2019) ‘Field, Capital and the Policing Habitus: Understanding Bourdieu Through The NYPD’s Post-9/11 Counterterrorism Practices’, Criminology and Criminal Justice. Advanced online publication: https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895819848820. The piece is part of the Virtual Special Issue: Bourdieu on the Block: Punishment, Policing and the Street, Criminology and Criminal Justice (A. Fraser and S. Sandberg, eds.): https://journals.sagepub.com/page/crj/bourdieu-and-criminology.
Before commencing her academic career, Dr. Quinlan practiced law in New York City, where she clerked for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, worked as an employment lawyer for Outten & Golden LLP, and served as General Counsel to the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
Dr Quinlan earned her Ph.D. at the London School of Economics, her LLM from King’s College London, her JD from Northeastern University School of Law, and her Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Berkeley.