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Judith Ritter

Distinguished Professor

B.A., State University of New York at Buffalo

J.D., Georgetown University School of Law


Email: [email protected]

Phone: 302.477.2121


Judith L. Ritter is Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic at Widener's Delaware campus. Professor Ritter received a B.A. summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1976, and a J.D. cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 1979, where she was a member of the Law and Policy in International Business Law Review. 

Following graduation from law school, Professor Ritter served as a Staff Attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, Mineola, New York from 1979-86; Clinical Staff Attorney, Rutgers Law School, Newark, New Jersey, from 1986-90; Associate Counsel, Community Service Society of New York, New York, New York, from 1990-93; and Visiting Associate Professor of Law, Hofstra University from 1993-1994. 

Professor Ritter joined the faculty at Widener as Associate Professor of Law in 1994 and has served as Professor of Law since 2004. She founded and directs the Law School’s Criminal Defense Clinic which has been providing representation to indigent defendants since 1995.   Professor Ritter is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and she teaches and writes in the areas of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Post-Conviction Remedies.   

What inspires me to teach?  

Excellence in lawyering requires diligence, tenacity and devotion.  In my field, criminal law, too many accused persons have ineffective legal representation, often bringing tragic results.  One of the reasons I teach is to inspire excellence in future lawyers.  I encourage and assist students in forming a model for quality lawyering that will frame their careers.

Why do lawyers matter?

Lawyers have the privilege and obligation to contribute toward pushing the law and legal system to promote justice and equal rights.  This aspect of one’s professional identity should begin to develop in law school.  I encourage students to not only learn the law but to think critically about what they learn. Lawyers have a role in molding the law in ways that improve people’s lives.