Marc D. Falkoff

Title: Professor of Law
Director, NIU Prisoners' Rights Project
Office Location: Swen Parson 196B
Office Phone: 815-753-0660
Education: J.D., Columbia Law School
Ph.D., Brandeis University
M.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
B.A., University of Pennsylvania

Marc Falkoff teaches courses primarily in civil rights, constitutional law, criminal law, criminal procedure, post-conviction remedies, and the federal courts. He is also the Director of the law school’s Prisoners’ Rights Project.

Professor Falkoff joined the NIU law faculty in 2006. His primary research and teaching interests are in the rule of law and the practice of public interest law. Since 2004, he has represented a number of prisoners being held by the U.S. military at Guantánamo Bay on suspicion of involvement with terrorism. For this work, he was named the Charles F.C. Ruff Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year in 2005 by Covington & Burling, LLP. He received the Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award in 2007 from the Southern Center for Human Rights and the Bill of Rights in Action Award in 2008 from the Constitutional Rights Foundation in Chicago. 

Professor Falkoff writes and speaks frequently about the rule of law in the context of the war on terror. The book of prisoner poetry he edited – Poems from Guantánamo: The Detainees Speak – was a bestselling anthology and has been translated into a dozen languages.

Professor Falkoff is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where he was articles editor for the Columbia Law Review, and was a James Kent and Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from Brandeis University, an M.A. from the University of Michigan and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Following law school, he clerked for Judges Carlos F. Lucero of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and Jack B. Weinstein of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He was appointed Habeas Corpus special master for the EDNY from 2003 to 2004.

Professor Falkoff has taught courses in post-conviction remedies and prisoners’ rights at Brooklyn Law School, as well as classes in contemporary American fiction, memoir writing and realism and naturalism at Purchase College. In 2009, he received the Northern Illinois University Foundation Award for Faculty Excellence. Professor Falkoff served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the College of Law from 2015 to 2020.

Areas of Expertise

  • Civil rights
  • Criminal law
  • Criminal procedure
  • Federal courts
  • Habeas corpus
  • Post-conviction remedies


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Books and Chapters


Criminal Convictions Column

Other Legal Writing

  • A Death at Gitmo,  Los Angeles Times (Sept. 20, 2012).
  • No Room Left For Doubt: More Revelations about Guantánamo,  Jurist (Jan. 19, 2009), reprinted in The Dean's Column, N. ILL. U. C. L. (Mar. 2009).
  • Guantánamo in the Supreme Court...Again,  Human Rights Newsletter of the Illinois State Bar Association (Apr. 2008).
  • Guantánamo in the Supreme Court: Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back, The Dean's Column, N. ILL. U. C. L. (Mar. 2008). 
  • Politics at Guantánamo: The Former Chief Prosecutor Speaks, Jurist (Nov. 2, 2007).
  • Verses of Suffering, Amnesty Int'l Mag., Fall 2007 (cover story), reprinted in Viewpoints: Readings Worth Thinking and Writing About (7th ed. 2009).  
  • 'Booker:' A Sea-Change in Federal Sentencing?, 2005 N.Y. L.J., Jan. 21, 2005, at 5 (with Alan Vinegrad).  

Bar Admissions

Illinois, New York and District of Columbia