Daniel J. Canon

Director of Externships and Assistant Professor of Law


Daniel J. Canon is a civil rights lawyer, educator, writer, speaker, consultant, and activist based in the Midwest. He is Director of Externships and Professor of Law at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, where he teaches courses on civil rights and civil procedure. His research is focused primarily on lawyer mental health, the intersection of the labor movement and the criminal legal system, and the role of lawyers in creating social change.

Dan has consistently been voted one of the region's top lawyers in the area of individual/constitutional rights for over a decade. He has argued numerous times before various state and federal appellate courts, and is best known as lead counsel for the Kentucky plaintiffs in the landmark Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which brought marriage equality to all fifty states. He was also plaintiffs' counsel in Miller v. Davis, the highly publicized case in which couples were refused marriage licenses in Rowan County, Kentucky, and counsel for protesters in Nwanguma v. Trump. He has represented plaintiffs in numerous other high-profile cases involving the rights of incarcerated people, wrongful convictions, and police brutality. 

His writing has been featured in numerous publications, including The Washington Post, The National Law Journal, Above the Law, Salon, and Slate. He is a regular columnist for Louisville's LEO Weekly, and has been quoted and profiled extensively by National Public Radio, Time, The Wall Street Journal, Nightline, The New York Times, and many other national and international news sources. His bestselling book entitled PLEADING OUT: How Plea Bargaining Creates a Permanent Criminal Class, is now available.