Tamar R. Birckhead is an Ivy League educated attorney and former law professor who has taught at Yale Law School, Duke Law School, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law (UNC).
She graduated with honors from Yale University and Harvard Law School. After a decade as a public defender in Massachusetts, she taught criminal and juvenile defense as a tenured law professor at UNC where she also served as Director of Clinical Programs. She returned to Connecticut in 2016 to teach at Yale Law School and then resume full-time law practice.
For over thirty years, Tamar R. Birckhead has represented individuals charged with criminal offenses in the state and federal court systems at both the trial and appellate levels. Licensed to practice in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and North Carolina, Tamar has defended clients in a wide variety of criminal cases—from serious felonies in state court to alleged acts of terrorism in federal court. Among her clients was Richard Reid, the attempted “Shoe Bomber” prosecuted in the District of Massachusetts under the U.S.A. Patriot Act.
In her Connecticut practice, Tamar regularly defends clients facing serious criminal charges in Connecticut's Superior Courts (both GA and Part A) as well as appeals before the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts. She also defends the rights of clients prosecuted in federal court in the Districts of Connecticut and Massachusetts. Tamar offers an aggressive criminal defense strategy and devotes substantial resources to analyzing the government's evidence against you, often working with leading experts, such as former law enforcement officers, toxicologists, forensic computer analysts, forensic psychologists, and forensic accountants.
For many years Tamar has also represented parents in child protection court who are facing allegations of abuse and neglect, and she frequently represents high school, college, and graduate students accused of violating their school's policies or code of conduct, which can result in suspension or expulsion as well as the initiation of criminal prosecution that arises from the same conduct.
Tamar prides herself on the close, collaborative working relationships she has with her clients. She understands that facing criminal charges or the possibility of losing one's parental rights can be a frightening experience, and she spends as much time patiently counseling her clients as she does rigorously advocating for them in the courtroom.
Ivy League Education
Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA: J.D. 1992
Honors: cum laude; Recent Developments Editor, Harvard Women's Law Journal; Certified Law Student, Legal Services Center, Jamaica Plain, MA; Legal Intern, East Bay Community Law Center, Oakland, CA; Legal Intern, Center for Constitutional Rights, New York, N.Y.
Yale University, New Haven, CT: B.A. 1987
Honors: cum laude, John Hersey Prize for a body of journalistic work; Elmore A. Willets Prize for fiction writing; Yale special correspondent, The New York Times; Managing Editor, The New Journal
State and Federal Bar Admissions
- U.S. District Court of Connecticut: 2016
- Connecticut: 2016
- United States Supreme Court: 2011
- North Carolina: 2004 (inactive)
- New York: 1999
- U.S. District Court of Massachusetts: 1993
- Massachusetts: 1992