Jennifer Piel, MD, JD

Jennifer Piel, MD, JD is triple Board Certified in General Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry, and Brain Injury Medicine. Her professional roles include being the director of the UW Center for Mental Health, Policy, and the Law; associate professor in the University of Washington (UW) Department of Psychiatry; and a staff psychiatrist at the VA Puget Sound. In addition to her medical training, Dr. Piel earned her law degree from the UW. As a member of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL), she serves on the Ethics, Research, and Resident Education Committees and twice earned AAPL’s Young Investigator Award. Dr. Piel is the legal digest editor for the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. She has served as an expert witness and consultant in legal cases involving criminal and civil competencies; criminal responsibility; malpractice; personal injury; sexual and gender harassment; and fitness for duty, among others. She teaches courses in forensic mental health at the UW and speaks locally and nationally on topics related to psychiatry and the law.

Featured Projects

Workforce Innovation and Leadership in Forensic Mental Health

Funder: Sozosei Foundation

Role of Criminal Defense Attorneys in Suicide Prevention Following Defendant Arrest

Funders: Mary. E Nelson Charitable Remainder Trust, Heidi Combs Trustee

Select Publications

Bryson, W.C., Piel, J. & Thielke, S.M. (2021). Arrest and non-fatal suicide attempts among men: Analysis of survey data from the National Survey on Drug Use and HealthBMC Psychiatry21, 537.

Bryson, W.C., Piel, J., & Thielke, S. (2020). Associations between parole, probation, arrest, and self-reported suicide attemptsCommunity Mental Health Journal57, 727–735.

Kopelovich S.L., Piel, J., Michaelsen, K., Reynolds, S.E., & Cowley, D.S. (2020). Forensic psychology postdoctoral training in the United States: How do programs meet national guidelines and standards? Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 14(3), 185–192.

Piel, J. (2023). Assessment of competence and criminal responsibility. In D. Lorandos (Ed.), Litigator’s handbook of forensic medicine, psychiatry, and psychology. Thomson Reuters.

Piel J.L., Kopelovich S.L., Michaelsen, K., Reynolds, S.E., & Cowley, D.S. (2019). Creating a State-Academic Partnership to Advance a Forensic Teaching Service: Benefits and Barriers. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 64(6), 1743-1749.

Recent Presentations

Piel, J. (2022, November). TeleMental Health and Professional Liability [Invited speaker]. TeleBehavioral Health 301 Series, Seattle, WA.

Piel, J. (2022, October). Is it Time for Further Expansion of Slayer Laws? American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Piel, J. (2022, October). Criminal Legal Involvement for Persons with Co-occurring and Serious Mental Illness [Plenary speaker]. Washington State Co-Occurring Disorder and Treatment Conference, Yakima, WA.

Piel, J. (2022, October). Invited Speaker, Discussion on the Interface Between Behavioral Health and the Criminal Legal System [Invited speaker]. Washington State Co-Occurring Disorder and Treatment Conference, Yakima, WA.