Steve Coughlan is a professor of law at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University in Halifax, where he has taught since 1991. He received an LLB from Dalhousie Law School and a PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto, both in 1985. He has practised law with the Metro Community Law Clinic and with the Dalhousie Legal Aid Service, and worked with the criminal procedure project of the Law Reform Commission of Canada. His areas of teaching have included criminal law and procedure, constitutional law, health law, and appellate advocacy. Professor Coughlan has received teaching awards at the faculty, university, and regional levels, including the Dalhousie Law School Teaching Excellence Award, the Hannah and Harold Barnett Award for Excellence in Teaching First Year Law, the Dalhousie University Alumni Association Award of Excellence for Teaching, and the Association of Atlantic Universities Distinguished Teacher Award. His students have won many prizes at competitive moots, including first place overall in the Commonwealth Law Moot.
Professor Coughlan is an editor of the Criminal Reports and an author of the National Judicial Institute Criminal Law e-Letter. He is one of the authors of the Carswell Annual Review of Criminal Law, of Learning Canadian Criminal Law (as of the 10th edition), of Law Beyond Borders, and of Detention and Arrest, among other books. In addition, he is a member of the Law and Technology Institute at the Schulich School of Law and is an author of the CanTech newsletter on law and technology issues. The majority of his more than 200 articles, annotations, chapters, reports, and books have been about criminal law issues, but he has also published in other fields. In 2019 he was named by Canadian Lawyer magazine as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada.