Michael Hamden

1612 Homestead Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27514, United States
Phone: (919) 605-2622
Fax: (919) 929-8411
Areas of Practice
  • Appellate Practice
  • Civil Rights
  • Class Action
  • Constitutional Law
  • Litigation
  • Personal Injury

Practice/Organization Description

Twenty-two years of experience in correctional law & policy focusing on advocacy for safe and humane conditions of confinement.

Twelve years’ service as executive director of North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, a 40-person law firm that challenges illegal sentences and convictions and enforces legal standards regarding the conditions in which a prisoner may be incarcerated. Ten years’ experience in successfully prosecuting about a dozen class action cases challenging inhumane conditions of confinement.

Co-editor, The Law & Policy of Sentencing & Corrections (7th ed. WestLaw American Case Law Series)(2005). Author and co-author of numerous professional articles, including Gostin & Hamden, “Prisoners & Medical Research,” Chronicle of Higher Education: Chronicle Review, (3 November 2006).

Consultant to the National Academies of Science Institute of Medicine on ethical considerations regarding the involvement of prisoners in research.

Twelve-year member of three Institutional Review Boards at Research Triangle Institute, International

Extensive experience with accreditation by the American Correctional Association, having served both as a member of both the Standards Committee and the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections.

Substantial involvement in bar activities, including the American Bar Association (former co-chair, Corrections & Sentencing Committee; member, Criminal Justice Section Council).

Among numerous lectures and presentations was “Prisoners, Biomedical Research, & Ethics,” delivered to the Board of Delegates of the American Medical Association in 2007.

Bar Admissions

North Carolina: Licensed March 1985

Tennessee: Bar Exam passed February 1984


Managerial - Certificate of Nonprofit Management 2001, Duke University Program in Nonprofit Management, Durham, North Carolina

Legal - J.D. 1983, University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville, Tennessee. Honors: Tennessee Law Review, Assistant Editor; two merit scholarships.

Musical - Bachelor of Music 1981, Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts. Honors: Magna Cum Laude Graduate.

Professional Associations & Memberships

American Bar Association

American Correctional Association

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

North Carolina Bar Association

Honors and Awards

Various plaques for service from, for example, the American Bar Assocition, the American Correctional Association, the North Carolina Bar Association, and the staff of North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services.

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