Daniel Abrahamson

  • Lecturer

Daniel Abrahamson founded the Office of Legal Affairs of the Drug Policy Alliance, where he served as director for 18 years. He then served as the organization's Senior Legal Advisor, developing special drug reform projects until August 2017. In addition to helping litigate cases in state and federal courts in the U.S., as well as international tribunals, Abrahamson has co-authored several pieces of legislation, including California’s Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000, the most sweeping criminal justice reform since the repeal of Prohibition, and California’s Proposition 47, which de-felonized simple drug possession. 

Abrahamson has taught courses on criminal justice, drug policy reform and capital punishment as an adjunct professor at University of California, Berkeley School of Law; Yale University; Hastings College of the Law; and Fisk University. He also has supervised multiple yearlong class projects as part of Northeastern University School of Law’s Legal Skills in Social Context program in Boston. 

Abrahamson was awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Developing Leadership in Reducing Substance Abuse fellowship in recognition of his efforts to expand access to drug treatment while reducing the rate and length of incarceration for drug law offenders. In addition, since 1996, Abrahamson has represented an inmate on California's death row in state habeas corpus proceedings that remain active to this day.

Abrahamson teaches Current Issues in Drug Law and Policy Reform at UVA Law.



  • J.D.
    New York University School of Law
  • M.A.
    University of Oxford
  • B.A.
    Yale University

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