Visiting Professor of Law Co-Director, Racial Justice Project
Alvin Bragg joined NYLS in January 2019 as a Visiting Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Racial Justice Project. Professor Bragg’s research and coursework focus on the intersection of criminal law and civil rights, prosecutorial discretion and accountability, and the functions of state Attorneys General.
Professor Bragg joined NYLS after more than 15 years in government service. Most recently, he served as Chief Deputy Attorney General in the New York State Office of the Attorney General. In that role, he reported directly to the Attorney General, helped set the office’s investigation and litigation priorities, and oversaw the work of the Criminal Justice and Social Justice Divisions. During his tenure as Chief Deputy, the Social Justice Division brought lawsuits against the Donald J. Trump Foundation and its directors alleging breaches of fiduciary duties; The Weinstein Company, Harvey Weinstein, and Robert Weinstein alleging the existence of a hostile work environment at The Weinstein Company; and the U.S. Department of Commerce challenging its intention to include a citizenship question on the decennial census. The Criminal Justice Division brought significant criminal charges, including in bribery, securities fraud, and Medicaid fraud matters.
Professor Bragg also previously served at the Attorney General’s Office as the Chief of the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit (SIPU) and the Executive Deputy Attorney General (EDAG) for Social Justice. As the Chief of SIPU, he oversaw investigations of law enforcement conduct resulting in the death of civilians and an investigation of a District Attorney’s handling of a shooting of a civilian by a police officer. For investigations that did not result in charges being filed, SIPU released public reports providing factual and legal analysis and recommendations for systemic reforms. As EDAG, Professor Bragg oversaw significant settlement agreements in matters concerning discriminatory redlining, tenant harassment, wage and hour violations, unlawful discrimination by employers based on applicants’ criminal history records, and unlawful business practices by health insurance companies. Professor Bragg also oversaw the issuance of a report concluding that only three percent of the approximately 2.4 million stops by the NYPD between 2009 and 2012 resulted in convictions and only .1 percent of the stops resulted in convictions for a violent crime.
Prior to the Attorney General’s Office, Professor Bragg was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he tried 10 cases to verdict. Among others, he obtained trial verdicts convicting the owner of a multimillion dollar business for laundering millions of dollars for an international drug cartel; a lawyer for mortgage fraud involving millions of dollars of losses to financial institutions; an FBI agent for making false statements; and individuals blocking a reproductive health facility in violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. Professor Bragg also brought charges that led to bribery convictions of the former Majority Leader of the New York State Senate, a City Council Member, and a Mayor.
Earlier in his career, Professor Bragg worked as Chief of Litigation and Investigations for the New York City Council, where he argued before the New York Court of Appeals in a groundbreaking case concerning separation of powers. Professor Bragg also was an Assistant Attorney General at the New York State Attorney General’s Office, an associate at Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC, and a law clerk to the Honorable Robert P. Patterson Jr., U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York. Professor Bragg earned his A.B. in Government (cum laude, general studies) and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was on the first-place team in the Ames Moot Court Competition and was an editor for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.
Professor Bragg is a member of the Board of Directors of The Legal Aid Society, a former member of the Board of Directors of the New York Urban League, and a Sunday School teacher at the Abyssinian Baptist Church.
Selected Opinion Pieces
“Eric Garner is proof that we need to reform laws on excessive force,” The Washington Post (July 17, 2019).
“How to hold cops legally accountable for killings,” City & State New York (May 15, 2019).
“Prosecutors must help those with criminal records secure jobs,” New York Amsterdam News (April 4, 2019).
“Police discipline: Turn on the lights. New York State law’s ban on releasing basic information about cops’ records hurts law enforcement and civilians alike,” New York Daily News (March 11, 2019).