New faculty: Brandon Golob studies legal communication


The School of Social Ecology has hired Brandon Golob as an assistant professor (teaching) of criminology, law and society. Golob earned his Ph.D. in communication from the University of Southern California. He also has a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law.

Below, Golob discusses his research interests and what he hopes to contribute to the School of Social Ecology.

My research and teaching focus on the ways legal concepts are communicated to non-lawyers. Both inside and outside the classroom, I examine how legal knowledge is translated to laypeople through mediated and face-to-face communication. Most recently, I’ve been evaluating the effects of “Street Law,” a program that teaches practical law to high school students.

Before starting my Ph.D., I taught a “Street Law” class in South Los Angeles. This led me to question the effectiveness of law-related education for non-lawyers. It also sparked my larger interest in exploring the ways ordinary people think and talk about the law. As someone with dual training in law and communication, I’m deeply interested in how quotidian communication practices interface with seemingly insular legal systems.

Throughout my career, I’ve sought to create practical learning environments where students feel comfortable testing new skills, dissecting issues from a variety of perspectives, and connecting to local communities. This is why I’m drawn to the School of Social Ecology’s interdisciplinary approach to education, as well as its field study requirement.

I’m especially excited to collaborate with faculty and community partners on expanding opportunities for students to apply what they learn to real-world issues. I strive to continue building experiential learning labs where students are the drivers of their own education and feel confident applying course material beyond our campus boundaries.

-Brandon Golob