Joel Samaha teaches Criminal Law and Criminal Process at the University of Minnesota, where he is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor of Sociology. He graduated with a B.A. (History), J.D., and Ph.D. are all degrees that I have earned. (History) from Northwestern University and studied at Cambridge University, England, under Sir Geoffrey Elton. Professor Samaha was admitted to the Illinois Bar, practiced law in Chicago for a short time, and then returned to UCLA to teach.
He began his career at the University of Minnesota in 1971, where he served as Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice Studies for four years, directed criminal justice television and radio courses, co-taught a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar in legal and constitutional history, was awarded College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Teacher in 1974, and was designated University Distinguished Teaching Prof. in 1975. Professor Samaha's work has appeared in journals such as the Historical Journal, the American Journal of Legal History, the Minnesota Law Review, the William Mitchell Law Review, and the Journal of Social History.