I am a a legally trained computational social scientist studying how complex data can inform policy, with particular emphasis on the nexus of fear, criminal data, and the law. My research is interdisciplinary and can be found across a myriad of law review journals, social science journals, general science outlets, and film essay anthologies.

Download a copy of my curriculum vita here.

Criminology & Criminal Law

My crime and criminal law research spans several categories and topics. Recently, I have focused extensively on the racial implications of the felony murder rule. This emphasis spans my scholarship, my computational law consulting, and has culminated in 2 in-progress amicus briefs. My first article in this space is forthcoming in the peer reviewed forum of the Mississippi Law Review.

A second component of my criminal law work focuses on felony case processing. After two studies focused on case processing in Illinois’ Cook County Courts, I have won a fellowship with the Criminal Justice Administrative Records System to study case processing at the national level.

A third element of my crime-focused research focuses on opioid overdose and micropolitans. Centering on Sandusky Ohio, a town simultaneously like and unlike any other, I work with my colleague Andrew Burns to understand the terrain of drug overdose and its effects on the community.



Boston University Anti-Racist Research Center, Felony Murder Rule Project

Racial Justice Act Consulting

Brian McComas LLC, Mark Iverson LLC, and others

Court Records

My work on court records takes two forms: 1) policy-oriented law writing about the tension between criminal record transparency and potential harm, and 2) work with SCALES OKN.

The SCALES – OKN (Systematic Content Analysis of Litigation EventS Open Knowledge Network) team is composed of computer and data scientists, legal scholars, journalists and policy experts, to develop a suite of tools to enable access to court records and analytics.

Our goal over the next three years is to build an AI powered data platform that makes the details of the federal judiciary and insights into how it works available and accessible to every single person.

Along with SCALES PI David Schwartz, I will be organizing an Access to Justice Law Symposium at Northwestern University in 2023 to debut the SCALES data and use cases. Be one of the first to use the data by signing up for beta access here (its always free and all open-source on our documentation site).

by the Numbers

Transforming the accessibility and transparency of federal courts


The cost for one year of Illinois felony court records

$6 Million

Fundraised by SCALES to build an open-source platform


The year SCALES will release its free and open access tool


I have a new line of regulatory work focused on invasive species and environmental law. In this work, I explore my theory of the objectification of law (i.e. closely associating a law with a single object even if the legal precedent is more broad) and regulating the truth.

Other lines of my regulatory scholar concern Title IX Policies and managerialized rights theory, whereby individuals are functionally left without protection of their rights against powerful institutions.

A third component of my regulatory scholarship focuses on corporate liability. Along with co-author Kaitlyn Filip, we update scholarship of iconic case Liebeck v. McDonalds and separately investigate the intersection of corporate responsibility and horror tropes in society.

Note: In some of this work, I study cats. There is (unbelievably) another person named Kat Albrecht who has published articles on missing cat detection. That is not me.

“If I See A Burmese Python, I’m Gonna Kill That Shit,” forthcoming at UC Irvine Law Review [read more]

Liebeck v. Frivolity: The Contemporary Influence of an Iconic Case [open access]

with Kaitlyn Filip

Misunderstanding Law: Undergraduates’ Understanding of Title IX Policy [open access pre-print]

with Laura Beth Nielsen & Lydia Wuorinen

Fear & Film

My main theoretical interest is in fear, both fictional and factual. This interest has led to significant in-progress work developing an interdisciplinary social science of fear and in analyzing various elements of fear in film. As the projects are released, I will update them here.

My empirical fear work focuses on a question of measurement: how do we measure fear and how are we sure it’s fear (rather than risk assessment or worry) that we are measuring? I study these questions with dynamic digital survey experiments designed to change what we know AND how we know it.

My work in the filmic space focuses on creature features, practical special effects, and the creation of fear. Several of my peer-reviewed essays are forthcoming in edited volumes at University Presses. Additionally, I am currently working on first book project along with my co-author Kaitlyn Filip titled, “Horror Law.” Horror Law brings together my legal work and my film/fear work in one volume.

Accepted Papers [at the publisher!]

Practical Magic: The Role of Practical Special Effects in Creating Fear

A Critical Companion to Wes Craven

Genre Tropes and Cinematic Risk-taking in the Conjuring Universe

Critical Conversations in Horror Studies

Truths, Lies, & Suspiciously Large Snakes

Teaching the Creature Feature

Film projects and creative work

My film work naturally transitioned to also writing reviews of horror film, horror anthologies and monographs, and horror games. These are catalogued on my horror reviews page.

Read the reviews →

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