Brian Farrell

Brian Farrell

Director, Citizen Lawyer Program
Director, Academic Achievement Program
Assistant Director, Center for Human Rights
Lecturer in Law and Human Rights

BA, St. Ambrose University, 1995
JD, University of Iowa College of Law, 1998
LLM, National University of Ireland, Galway, 2002
PhD, National University of Ireland, Galway, 2013


Brian Farrell directs the College of Law’s Citizen Lawyer Program and academic support program, is an assistant director of the Center for Human Rights, and coordinates the College’s undergraduate LEX Living-Learning Community. Brian also teaches international law and human rights courses to law and undergraduate students. He is co-founder and president of the Innocence Project of Iowa.

During law school Brian served as an associate editor of the Journal of Corporation Law and co-captain of the Chicago Moot Court Team. Following a clerkship with the Iowa District Court for the Seventh Judicial District, Brian practiced law in Iowa and Georgia. His practice experience focused on criminal defense, appeals, and post-conviction relief. Brian has published numerous articles in the areas of international human rights law and humanitarian law and is a frequent continuing legal education speaker. He has contributed to the Oxford Reports on International Criminal Law, served as a consultant to the Harvard School of Public Health’s Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, and conducted human rights field research in the Middle East. In 2012, Brian was selected by the Department of State and the Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in the law faculty at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” where he taught a wrongful convictions course and lectured on human rights topics.  Brian is an active member of the American, Iowa State, Linn County, and Jackson County Bar Associations.

Areas of Expertise

  • Student pro bono opportunities and professional formation development
  • Wrongful convictions and criminal, appellate, and postconviction practice
  • International human rights law
  • Coordination of academic support programming and FYI program