Mary Anne Franks

Professor of Law
Michael R. Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair
Social Justice/Public Interest Concentration Affiliated Faculty
Business of Innovation, Law, & Technology (BILT) Concentration Affiliated Faculty

(305) 284-5345
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Mary Anne Franks, Professor of Law and Michael R. Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair, is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on the intersection of civil rights and technology. She teaches classes on First Amendment law, Second Amendment law, criminal law, criminal procedure, family law, and law and technology. Professor Franks is also an Affiliated Faculty member of the University of Miami Department of Philosophy and an Affiliate Fellow of the Yale Law School Information Society Project (ISP). 

Dr. Franks is the author of the award-winning book, The Cult of the Constitution: Our Deadly Devotion to Guns and Free Speech (Stanford Press, 2019). In 2020, she was awarded a grant from the Knight Foundation to support research for her second book, Fearless Speech (expected 2023). Her scholarship has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the California Law Review, and UCLA Law Review, among others. Dr. Franks has also authored numerous articles for the popular press, including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, and Newsweek. She received a University of Miami Provost’s Award for Scholarly Activity for 2019-2020 and was named a member of the American Law Institute in October 2018. 

Dr. Franks is the President and Legislative & Tech Policy Director of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating online abuse and discrimination. In 2013, she drafted the first model criminal statute on nonconsensual pornography (sometimes referred to as “revenge porn”), which has served as the template for multiple state laws and for pending federal legislation on the issue. She also served as the reporter for the Uniform Law Commission’s 2018 Uniform Civil Remedies for the Unauthorized Disclosure of Intimate Images Act. Dr. Franks is a principal investigator for a 2020 National Science Foundation grant project, COVID-19 and sexual cyberviolence: Impact on general users and vulnerable populations. She regularly advises legislators, tech industry leaders, and advocacy organizations on issues relating to online privacy, sexual exploitation, extortion, harassment, and threats.

Dr. Franks holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School as well as a doctorate and a master’s degree from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She previously taught at the University of Chicago Law School as a Bigelow Fellow and Lecturer in Law and at Harvard University as a lecturer in social studies and philosophy. She is a member of the District of Columbia bar.

Area of Expertise
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Cyber Law
  • First Amendment