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Todd Collins - Western Carolina University. Cullowhee, NC, US

Todd Collins

Steed Distinguished Professor | Western Carolina University


Todd Collins is a licensed attorney and legal/political scholar with extensive experience in the courtroom and the classroom.






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Todd Collins is a licensed attorney and legal/political scholar with extensive experience in the courtroom and the classroom. Todd's research projects have been published in both law reviews and political science journals. He regularly consults graduate and undergraduate students about the legal profession. Todd teaches courses in constitutional law, judicial process, public administration law, and other law courses. He has extensive training and experience in research methods, including data collect and empirical analysis, with publications using both statistical analysis and legal theory.

Industry Expertise (3)



Legal Services

Areas of Expertise (5)

Public Law

Judicial Politics

Political Science

Public Affairs

Constitutional Law

Education (3)

University of Georgia: Ph.D., Political Science - Law Concentration 2007

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: J.D., Law 2000

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: B.A., Political Science & Philosophy 1997

Media Appearances (3)

NC Court and Politics

Queen City News Now  online


Dr. Todd Collins, a professor at Western Carolina University, joined Queen City News Now about the politicization of the North Carolina Supreme Court and efforts to shift other elected positions traditionally considered to be “non-partisan.”

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Western Carolina University students, political science professor talk Kavanaugh

WLOS  online


Western Carolina University political science professor Todd Collins thinks Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing this week has been an excellent lesson for his students. “For a class purpose, it’s interesting, because it shows the mix of politics and the courts” Collins said. “And, traditionally, we think of the courts as being somewhat removed. But we see, as in all of these, it's a very political process.”

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Before They Were Educators: Dr. Todd Collins

The Western Carolinian  online


Lawyers. We call them for their legal expertise and their concise speaking ability; we call them when we are in need of advice. Would you call a lawyer about your next term paper? If so, you are probably a student of Dr. Todd Collins, an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs at Western Carolina University.

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Articles (5)

From Roadside Stops to the Courthouse Stairs: Defendant Race and the Attorney’s Role in Routine Cases

Journal of Law and Courts

2023 Latinos, especially those who recently immigrated, face many obstacles in navigating the political and judicial environment in the United States. While prior scholarship suggests that racial minorities are more likely to be stopped by law enforcement for traffic violations and face harsher penalties for major crimes, little research has explored whether a defendant’s characteristics are influential in routine traffic court cases.

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Bridging the Gaps: Local Government and Nonprofit Collaborations

Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs

2019 Local governments and nonprofit organizations often struggle to provide quality services to their residents and clients. One potential way for these organizations to overcome obstacles in service provision is to engage in joint programming and service delivery. In this study, we use original survey data collected from local government and nonprofit managers in the state of North Carolina to examine recent trends in collaboration between these sectors.

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Tipping the Scales of Justice: Perceptions of Unfair Treatment in the Courtroom

Justice System Journal

2018 In spite of popular perceptions about legal actors operating in a competitive environment, political scientists note that long-term relationships among attorneys, judges, and court personnel develop over time. These working relationships can help attorneys achieve positive outcomes for their clients, increase efficiency in court proceedings, and help enhance attorneys’ professional reputations. But what happens when attorneys have to venture out of familiar territory to try a case?

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Intersecting Disadvantages: Race, Gender, and Age Discrimination Among Attorneys

Social Science Quarterly

2017 This article explores the impact of race, gender, age, and intersectionality on attorneys' perceptions of unfair treatment by other lawyers and on satisfaction with their legal careers.

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Being Part of the “Home Team”

Journal of Law and Courts

2017 Understanding how attorneys’ perceptions of “insider” and “outsider” status affect negotiations is of both theoretical and practical importance for understanding the judicial system. We utilize a comprehensive survey of attorneys from one state to explore views of trustworthiness and negotiations. Overall, as attorneys become more embedded in their in-group, they increasingly report lower trust levels and less effective negotiations with outsiders.

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