Centre for Criminology

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Arthur Rizer is a former Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center and Associate Professor of Law at West Virginia University College of Law.  Before entering academics, Rizer worked at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for nine years as a trial attorney. His most recent assignment at DOJ was as a prosecutor in the Criminal Division working on narcotics and national security cases, primarily focused on international drug cartels and narco-terrorists. His other postings at DOJ included national security litigator with Federal Program’s Guantanamo Bay Litigation Team; prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California; and civil litigator with the Office of Immigration Litigation.

Rizer started his legal career as a federal judicial law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Before law school, Rizer served as a Military Police and Armor officer in the reserve and active U.S. Army. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the West Virginia National Guard. In the military, Rizer was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, where he helped train the Iraqi Army to fight the insurgency and was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart Medals. Also before law school, Rizer worked as a civilian police officer in Washington State.

Rizer earned his Master of Laws, with distinction, from Georgetown University Law Center, and his Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, from Gonzaga University School of Law. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Command Staff College. 


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  • ALR Rizer, Jefferson’s Pen: The Art of Persuasion (ABA Press 2016) (forthcoming)
  • ALR Rizer, 'The Ever-Changing Bogeyman: How Fear has Driven Immigration Law and Policy' (2016) Louisiana Law Review
  • ALR Rizer, 'Trading Police for Soldiers: Has the Posse Comitatus Act Helped Militarize Our Police and Set the Stage for More Fergusons? ' (2016) 16 University of Nevada Las Vegas Law Review 467
  • ALR Rizer, 'Hannibal at the Gate: Border Kids, Drugs, and Guns - and the Mexican Cartel War Goes On ' (2015) 27 St. Thomas Law Review 48
  • ALR Rizer, 'Lawyering Wars: Failing Leadership, Risk Aversion, and Lawyer Creep—Should We Expect More Long Survivors? 90 Ind. L.J. 935 (2015)' (2015) 90 Indiana Law Journal 935
  • ALR Rizer, The National Security Implications of Immigration Law (ABA Press 2013)
  • ALR Rizer, 'Lessons From Iraq and Afghanistan: Is it Time for the United States to Sign the Ottawa Treaty and End the Use of Landmines? ' (2012) 49 Willamette Law Review 35
  • ALR Rizer and Sheri Glaser, 'Breach: The National Security Implications of Human Trafficking' (2011) 17 Widener Law Review 69
  • ALR Rizer, 'Dog Fight: Did the International Battle Over Airline Passenger Name Records Enable the Christmas Day Bomber?' (2010) 60 Catholic Law Review 77
  • ALR Rizer, Lincoln’s Counsel: Lessons from America's Most Persuasive Speaker (ABA Press 2010)
  • ALR Rizer, 'Mandatory Arrest: Do We Need to Take a Closer Look?' (2005) 36 University of West Los Angeles Law Review 1
  • ALR Rizer, 'The Filibuster of Judicial Nominations: Constitutional Crisis or Politics as Usual?' (2005) Pepperdine Law Review 847
  • ALR Rizer, 'Does True Conservatism Equal Anti-Death Penalty?' (2004) 6 Howard Human Rights Law Review 88
  • Jesse Matthew Ruhl , ALR Rizer and Mikel J. Wier, 'Gun Control: Targeting Rationality in a Loaded Debate' (2004) 13 Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy 413
  • ALR Rizer, 'Prosecutors: The “Other” Defenders of the Constitution' (2004) 38 The Prosecutor
  • ALR Rizer, 'The Race Effect on Wrongful Convictions' (2003) 29 William and Mitchell Law Review 845



Research Interests

Exploring how police institutions think about the problem of militarization and violence.  More specifically, how do police institutions, who are the repository of legalized violence, think about controlling that aspect of their mission. 

Options taught

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Research projects