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About Steven L. Chanenson

As the Director of the Villanova Sentencing Workshop, Steve Chanenson brings an innovative approach to the study of sentencing and criminal law. Professor Chanenson teaches courses on sentencing, white-collar crime, criminal procedure, national security law, and criminal law.
Professor Chanenson’s scholarship and work on criminal sentencing has gained him national recognition. He is the Vice Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, having been appointed Governor Schweiker, Governor Rendell, and most recently by Governor Corbett. He is also the Chairman of the Commission’s Research Committee, and serves as the Liaison from the National Association of Sentencing Commissions to the American Law Institute’s efforts to revise the sentencing portions of the Model Penal Code. In addition, Professor Chanenson is a Managing Editor of and frequent contributor to the Federal Sentencing Reporter (University of California Press/Vera Institute of Justice), the leading professional journal of brief commentary on sentencing law, theory and reform.
Professor Chanenson’s career demonstrates his unwavering commitment to public service. Professor Chanenson received his B.A. (economics) and M.S. (criminology) from the University of Pennsylvania, and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. At Chicago, he was a comment editor of the University of Chicago Law Review. He began his career as a clerk to the Honorable Phyllis A. Kravitch of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He later clerked for the Honorable William J. Brennan, Jr. of the United States Supreme Court. While at the Supreme Court, he also served in the Chambers of the Honorable David H. Souter. As a litigation associate at Jenner & Block in Chicago, he helped defend a pro bono client charged with murder in state court. Professor Chanenson also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney assigned to the Criminal Division in Chicago before joining the Villanova Law faculty in 2000.
In a June 2005 ceremony at the United States Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas, on behalf of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, presented Professor Chanenson with the Judge Joseph Stevens Award for Outstanding Public Service in the Field of Law. Professor Chanenson was chosen as a Truman Scholar in 1986 in recognition of his commitment to public service. For much of the past decade, he has been active in the Truman Scholar selection process, serving on both the Finalist Selection Committee and regional Selection Panels.


Present Associate Dean for Faculty Research, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
Present Professor of Law, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law



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Honors and Awards

  • American Law Institute, Elected Member


  • Corporate and White Collar Crime
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Sentencing and Punishment
  • Villanova Sentencing Workshop

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