Michal Buchhandler-Raphael Visiting Assistant Professor of Law

Phone: 540-458-8375

Email: buchhandlerraphaelm@wlu.edu

Office: 473 Lewis Hall 

SSRN  •  Scholarly Commons

Area of Expertise

Criminal Law; Family Law; The Criminal Regulation of Vice


LLB, 1995, Hebrew University

LLM, 1999, Hebrew University

LLM, 2007, University of Virginia

SJD, 2010, University of Virginia


Michal Buchhandler-Raphael has been teaching at Washington and Lee School of Law since 2012. She teaches Criminal Law, Family Law and a seminar titled The Criminal Regulation of Vice and in previous years had also taught a seminar on Free Speech. Professor Buchhandler-Raphael's scholarship focuses on criminal law theory and doctrine, primarily addressing the question of what should substantive criminal law cover and exclude, and how much punishment is normatively appropriate. She is particularly interested in exploring the limits of criminalization and in identifying the line between imposing criminal liability on one hand and alternative forms of non-criminal regulation, including civil and administrative measures, on the other.

In her scholarship, she addresses, among others, the gender-based implications of the law for women as both victims and as perpetrators of crimes. Her articles have been published (or have been accepted for publication) in Fordham Law Review, American University Law Review, Cardozo Law Review, Brooklyn Law Review, Florida State Law Review and Tennessee Law Review, as well as in specialty journals including Columbia Journal of Gender & Law and Michigan Journal of Gender and Law. Her most recent scholarly interest lie in the area of substantive criminal law and the emotions, by considering the implications of psychological studies on the emotions on the scope of criminal responsibility. In previous work, she examined insights gained from psychological studies on anger and fear for the provocation defense. In a current research project, she examines psychological studies on the emotion of compassion, considering whether the law ought to recognize a new partial defense in cases where actors killed terminally ill or severely disabled family members out of compassion.

Professor Buchhandler-Raphael holds a doctorate degree (S.J.D) from the University of Virginia School of Law. She also holds a LL.B. and an M.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before entering academia, Professor Buchhandler-Raphael has clerked in the Jerusalem District Court and has practiced criminal law and procedure for nine years as a legal counsel with the Israel National Police.

Recent Publications

Fear-Based Provocation, 67 American University Law Review 1719 (2018)

The Conundrum of Voluntary Intoxication and Sex, 82 Brooklyn Law Review 1031 (2017)

Breaking the Chain of Command Culture: A Call For An Independent Investigative Body To Curb Sexual Assaults in the Military, 29 Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society 341 (2015)

Overcriminalizing Speech, 36 Cardozo Law Review 1667 (2015)

Drugs, Dignity and Danger: Human Dignity as a Constitutional Constraint to Limit Overcriminalization. Tennessee Law Review, Vol. 80, 2013

What's Terrorism Got to Do with It? The Perils of Prosecutorial Misuse of Terrorism Offenses. Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 39, Summer 2012

The Failure of Consent: Re-Conceptualizing Rape as Sexual Abuse of Power. Michigan Journal of Gender and Law, Vol. 18, No. 1, May 2011

Sexual Abuse of Power. University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 21, p. 77, 2010

Criminalizing Coerced Submission in the Workplace and in the Academy. Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, Vol. 19, p. 409, 2010