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Michal Buchhandler-Raphael

Associate Professor of Law


SSRN Papers
Curriculum Vitae

Phone: 717.541.3942

“I love teaching and immensely enjoy the intellectual exchanges with students. I hope that my passion and enthusiasm for teaching helps my students become engaged in class and excited about using the law to promote justice. I strive to create a learning environment that welcomes students from all backgrounds and makes everyone feel valued and comfortable in the classroom.”

Professor Michal Buchhandler-Raphael joined Widener Law Commonwealth in 2020 from Washington and Lee School of Law, where she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law teaching courses in Criminal Law and Family Law, as well as two seminars, Criminal Regulation of Vice and Freedom of Speech.

Professor Buchhandler-Raphael’s research focuses mostly on substantive criminal law, with a particular emphasis on gender-based violence and gender-based implications of the criminal justice system on women, as both victims and perpetrators of crime. Her scholarship explores the phenomena of over-criminalization, over-enforcement, and the overly punitive criminal justice system, but also problems of under-criminalization and under-enforcement of specific crimes, among others, sex crimes. She examines the intersection between these two closely related problems, through the perspective of both victims and offenders. 

Her recent scholarly project has focused on exploring the relationship between criminal law and emotions, including anger, fear and compassion. Delving into psychological research on various emotions, she completed a series of three articles: Compassionate Homicide, published in the Washington University Law Review, Loss of Self-Control, Dual-Process Theories and Provocation, published in the Fordham Law Review, and Fear-Based Provocation published in the American University Law Review. Professor Buchhandler-Raphael’s other articles have been published in leading flagship law journals including Cardozo Law Review, Florida State Law Review, Brooklyn Law Review and Tennessee Law Review, and her work has been cited in popular Criminal Law casebooks.

Professor Buchhandler-Raphael has extensive practice experience in criminal investigations, after serving for nine years in the Israel National Police. As a legal counsel with its Headquarters’ Investigation Division, she drafted legal guidelines, provided legal opinion to various police units, and served as a liaison between the Israel National Police and the Israel Attorney General’s office. Her experience also includes active military service in the Intelligence Directorate of the Israeli Defense Forces.

As a proud naturalized American citizen, and an immigrant from her native country, Israel, Professor Buchhandler-Raphael is passionate about embracing, contributing and enhancing all forms of diversity at Widener University and the Harrisburg community.

  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Family Law


SJD, University of Virginia School of Law
LLM, University of Virginia School of Law
LLM, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel
LLB, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, cum laude


Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Washington and Lee School of Law
Legal Counsel, Israel National Police, Headquarters Investigations Department
Judicial Clerk to the honorable Yehudit Tzur, Court of Appeals (Jerusalem Circuit), Jerusalem Israel

Bar Admissions

Member of the Israeli Bar Association

Selected Media Coverage

Professor Buchhandler-Raphael was quoted on 1/18/2022
Majority of states' laws treat sexual assault perpetrators differently if victims drank 

On December 2, 2021, Buchhandler-Raphael provided analysis regarding the Ghislaine Maxwell trial.

WCCO-TV/CBS4 Minnesota
Michal Buchhandler-Raphael was quoted on 9/14/2021
New Minnesota Law Is ‘Significant Victory’ For Survivors Of Sexual Assaults While Intoxicated




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faculty directory a-d e-k l-p q-z