Associate Professor of Law


Professor Murphy’s research focuses on the intersection of neuroscience, behavioral science, and law. She writes about the use of neuroscience as evidence and how neuroscience and behavioral science shape public policy and legal systems. Prior to joining UC Hastings, Professor Murphy spent a year as a fellow in the Program in Understanding Law, Science, and Evidence at UCLA Law School. Before that, she practiced law at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, handling all aspects of complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on professional liability and internal investigations. She represented clients in higher education, financial services, and professional services. Her pro bono practice focuses on housing issues and civil rights work addressing homelessness.

Professor Murphy earned her A.B. magna cum laude in Psychology from Harvard University, her Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychopharmacology from University of Cambridge, Trinity College, as a Gates Cambridge Scholar, and her J.D. from Stanford Law School where she received the Gerald Gunther Prizes in Constitutional Litigation and Professional Responsibility. Prior to law school she was a postdoc with Stanford Law School’s Center for Law and the Biosciences as well as the MacArthur Foundation’s Law and Neuroscience Project. Following law school, she clerked for the Honorable Richard A. Paez of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Her recent work has been published in Stanford Law Review, Law & Psychology Review, and Psychology Public Policy & Law.



  1. Stanford Law School 2012


  2. University of Cambridge, Trinity College 2007

    Ph.D., Behavioral Neuroscience / Psychopharmacology

  3. Harvard University 2003

    A.B., Psychology / Mind, Brain, Behavior

Selected Scholarship

  1. Paved with Good Intentions: Sentencing Alternatives from Neuroscience and the Policy of Problem-Solving Courts 2013

    Law and Psychology Review

  2. Neuroimages as Evidence in a Mens Rea Defense: No Impact 2011

    Psychology, Public Policy, and Law

  3. Impulsive Behaviour Induced by Both NMDA Receptor Antagonism and GABAA Receptor Activation in Rat Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex. 2011


  4. Through a Scanner Darkly: Functional Neuroimaging as Evidence of a Criminal Defendant's Past Mental States 2010

    Stanford Law Review

  5. Brain Images as Legal Evidence 2009


  6. Behavioural Characterisation of High Impulsivity on the 5-choice Serial Reaction Time Task: Specific Deficits in 'Waiting' Versus 'Stopping' 2009

    Behavioural Brain Research

  7. Neuroethics of Neuromarketing 2008

    Journal of Consumer Behavior

  8. Contrasting Effects of Selective Lesions of Nucleus Accumbens Core or Shell on Inhibitory Control and Amphetamine-induced Impulsive Behaviour 2008

    European Journal of Neuroscience

  9. Neuroimaging and Disorders of Consciousness: Envisioning an Ethical Research Agenda 2008

    The American Journal of Bioethics

  10. Nucleus Accumbens D2/3 Receptors Predict Trait Impulsivity and Cocaine Reinforcement 2007



  1. Contracts
  2. Evidence
  3. Law & Behavioral Science