Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Dean

Ryan Roth Gallo & Ernest J. Gallo Professor of Law

BA, Grinnell College
JD, University of Michigan Law School
MA, Yale University
M Phil, Yale University
PhD, Yale University


Biography

Angela Onwuachi-Willig is dean and Ryan Roth Gallo & Ernest J. Gallo Professor of Law at Boston University School of Law. A renowned legal scholar and expert in critical race theory, employment discrimination, and family law, she joined the law school as dean in August 2018.

Before joining the School of Law, Dean Onwuachi-Willig served as Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Previously, she taught at the University of Iowa College of Law, where she was the Charles and Marion Kierscht Professor and at the University of California, Davis, King Hall, where she was acting (assistant) professor of law. As a classroom teacher at her previous institutions, she taught employment discrimination, evidence, family law, critical race theory, and torts.

Dean Onwuachi-Willig is an elected member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Law Institute (ALI), American Bar Foundation, as well as the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. She is the author of According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family (Yale 2013). Her articles have appeared in leading law journals such as the Yale Law Journal, Virginia Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, California Law ReviewMichigan Law ReviewGeorgetown Law JournalTexas Law ReviewUCLA Law Review, and Vanderbilt Law Review, to name a few.

Onwuachi-Willig is the recipient of numerous awards, including the EXTRAordinary Woman in Boston Award (2019), the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Clyde Ferguson Award (2015), the AALS Derrick Bell Award (2006), the Gertrude Rush Award (2016) from the Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys and the Iowa Chapter of the National Bar Association, and Law and Society’s John Hope Franklin, Jr., Prize (2018). Along with her coauthor Mario Barnes, she is the first faculty member to win both the Ferguson and Bell Awards. In the 2017–18 academic year, Onwuachi-Willig served as the William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law at the American Bar Foundation. Most recently, she was one of five black women deans to receive the inaugural AALS Impact Award in recognition of their work in collating the Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project in 2021.

 Onwuachi-Willig received the 2016 Collegiate Teaching Award at the University of Iowa College of Law and the 2012 Marion Huit Award, a University of Iowa award given to a faculty member in recognition of outstanding teaching and assistance to students, exceptional research and writing, and dedicated service to the University and the surrounding community. Other honors include her selection as a finalist for the Supreme Court of Iowa in 2011; identification by the National Law Journal as one of the “Minority 40 under 40” in 2011 and by Lawyers of Color as one of the “50 Law Professors of Color Under 50” in its inaugural list in 2013; and election to the Iowa Bar Foundation.

Dean Onwuachi-Willig serves on the Grinnell College Board of Trustees, the Law School Admissions Council Board, the Purple Campaign to End Sexual Harassment Advisory Board, and the Board and Executive Committee of the Law and Society Association. She serves on Senators Warren and Markey’s Judicial Selection and U.S. Attorney Selection Committees; is a member of the AALS Law Deans Section Executive Committee, the AALS Deans Steering Committee, and the Law Deans Advisory Committee to U.S. News and World Report; serves on the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being while chairing the Law School Subcommittee; and chairs the SJC Committee on Character and Fitness. She also served as the the chair for AALS Committee on the Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Teachers and Students for two years, leading the committee as it drafted and developed an official Statement of Good Practices on the Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Teachers. She also is the founder of the Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Workshop, which has resulted in the production of many books and hundreds of articles and essays by its participants and has assisted dozens of women on the path to tenure.

 Onwuachi-Willig graduated from Grinnell College, Phi Beta Kappa, and received her JD from the University of Michigan, where she was a Clarence Darrow Scholar, a Michigan Law Review note editor, and an associate editor for the founding issue of the Michigan Journal of Race and Law. After law school, she clerked for US District Court Judge Solomon Oliver of the Northern District of Ohio and US Sixth Circuit Judge Karen Nelson Moore. She received her PhD in sociology and African American studies from Yale University. She has practiced law as a labor and employment associate at Jones Day in Cleveland, Ohio and Foley Hoag in Boston, Massachusetts.

Publications

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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, The CRT of Black Lives Matter 66 Saint Louis University Law Journal (2022)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Anthony V. Alfieri, Racial Trauma in Civil Rights Representation 120 Michigan Law Review (2022)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Jonathan Feingold, Critical Race Judgments: Rewritten U.S. Court Opinions on Race and Law (2022)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Keep Passing the Baton: Reflections on the Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg 44 Thomas Jefferson Law Review (2021)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, The Intersectional Race and Gender Effects of the Pandemic in Legal Academia 72 Hastings Law Journal (2021)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, The Trauma of Awakening to Racism: Did the Tragic Killing of George Floyd Result in Cultural Trauma for Whites? 58 Houston Law Review (2021)
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  • Jasmine Gonzales Rose & Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Race, Rights, and Redemption: The Derrick Bell Lectures on the Law and Critical Race Theory (2021)
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  • Brief of Amici Curiae Scholars of the Constitutional Rights and Interests of Children in Support of Respondents
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Harassment Because of Sex: Meritor Savings Bank, FSB v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986) Judgment, in Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Employment Discrimination Opinions (Ann C. McGinley and Nicole Buonocore Porter,2020)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig & JoAnne Sweeney, Intersectional Approaches to Appearances: Jespersen v. Harrah's Operating Co., 444 F.3d 1104 (9th Cir. 2006) (en banc) Judgment, in Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Employment Discrimination Opinions (Ann C. McGinley and Nicole Buonocore Porter,2020)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Reconceptualizing the Harms of Discrimination: How Brown v. Board of Education Helped to Further White Supremacy 105 Virginia Law Review (2019)
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  • David Oppenheimer, Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Nancy Leong, Affirmative Action 20 Berkeley Journal of African-American Law & Policy (2019)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin: The Persistence of White Womanhood and the Preservation of White Manhood 15 Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race (2018)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, What About #UsToo?: The Invisibility of Race in the #MeToo Movement 128 Yale Law Journal Forum (2018)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Ifeoma Ajunwa, Combating Discrimination Against the Formerly Incarcerated in the Labor Market 112 Northwestern University Law Review (2018)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, From Loving v. Virginia to Washington v. Davis: The Erosion of the Supreme Court's Equal Protection Intent Analysis 25 Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law (2018)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Mark Hatzenbuehler, Javier Flores & Joesph Cavanaugh, Anti-bullying Policies and Disparities in Bullying: A State-Level Analysis 53 American Journal of Preventative Medicine (2017)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, The Promise of Lutie A. Lytle: An Introduction to the Tenth Annual Commemorative Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Workshop Iowa Law Review Issue 102 Iowa Law Review (2017)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Extending the Normativity of the Extended Family: Reflections on Moore v. City of East Cleveland 85 Fordham Law Review (2017)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Policing the Boundaries of Whiteness: The Tragedy of Being “Out of Place” from Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin 102 Iowa Law Review (2017)
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  • Brief of Amici Curiae Scholars of The Constitutional Rights and Interests Of Children in Support of Respondents in Masterpiece Cakeshop LTD, et al v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
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  • Kristen Konrad Tiscione & Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Rewrite of Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 US 57 (1986), in Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court (Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger & Bridget A. Crawford,2017)
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  • Rebecca Bruening, Rosaura Orengo-Aguayo, Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Marizen Ramirez, Implementation of Anti-bullying Legislation in Iowa Schools: A Qualitative Examination of School Administrators’ Perceived Barriers and Facilitators 17 Journal of School Violence (2017)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, The Trauma of the Routine: Lessons on Cultural Trauma from the Emmett Till Verdict 34 Sociological Theory (2016)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Marizen Ramirez, Corinne Peek-Asa & Joseph Cavanaugh, Evaluation of Iowa’s Anti-Bullying Law 3 Injury Epidemiology (2016)
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  • Mario Barnes, Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Erwin Chemerinsky, Judging Opportunity Lost: Race-based Affirmative Action and Equality Jurisprudence After Fisher v. University of Texas, in Controversies in Equal Protection Cases in America: Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation (2016)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Mario Barnes & Erwin Chemerinsky, Judging Opportunity Lost: Assessing the Viability of Race-Based Affirmative Action After Fisher v. University of Texas, Austin 62 UCLA Law Review (2015)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Alexander Nourafshan, From Outsider Status to Insider and Outsider Again: Interest Convergence Theory and Normalization of LGBT Identity 42 Florida State University Law Review (2015)
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  • Maritza Reyes, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Stephanie Wildman & Adrien Wing, Reflections on Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia Symposium — The Plenary Panel 29 Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice (2014)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig & William Kidder, Still Hazy After All These Years: The Lack of Empirical Evidence and Logic Supporting Mismatch 92 Texas Law Review (2014) (book review)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, A Room with Many Views: A Response to Essays on According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Multiracial Family 16 Journal of Gender, Race & Justice (2013)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family (2013)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, More Hair-Raising Decisions, and How Professor Wendy Greene Combs Through Their Flaws JOTWELL (2013)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, What Would Be the Story of Alice and Leonard Rhinelander Today? 46 UC Davis Law Review (2013)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, On Derrick Bell as Pioneer and Teacher: Teaching Us How to Have the Nerve 36 Seattle University Law Review (2013)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Anthony Alfieri, Next Generation of Civil Rights Lawyers: Race and Representation in the Age of Identity Performance 122 Yale Law Journal (2013) (book review)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, An Officer and a Gentleman, in The New Black What Has Changed—and What Has Not—with Race in America (2013)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Silence of the Lambs, in Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia (Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Yolanda Flores Niemann, Carmen G. Gonzalez & Angela P. Harris,2012)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Mario Barnes, The Obama Effect: Specialized Meanings in Anti-discrimination Law 87 Indiana Law Journal (2012)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Amber Shanahan-Fricke, Do Female “Firsts” Still Matter?: Why They Do for Women of Color 2012 Michigan State Law Review (2012)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Jacob Willig-Onwuachi, Finding a Loving Home, in Loving v. Virginia in a Post-Racial World: Rethinking Race, Sex, and Marriage (Rose Cuison Villazor & Kevin Noble Maillard,2012)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Tributes to Dores McCree 16 Michigan Journal of Race & Law (2011)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Vulnerable Populations and Transformative Law Teaching: A Critical Reader (2011)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Amber Fricke, Class, Classes, and Classic Race Baiting: What’s in a Definition? 88 Denver University Law Review (2011)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Another Hair Piece: Exploring New Strands of Analysis Under Title VII 98 Georgetown Law Journal (2010)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Teaching Employment Discrimination 54 St. Louis Law Journal (2010)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Jacob Willig-Onwuachi, All in the Family 22 Yale Journal of Law and Feminism (2010)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Complimentary and Complementary Discrimination in Faculty Hiring 87 Washington University Law Review (2010)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Darren Rosenblum, Noa Ben-Asher, Mary Anne Case, Elizabeth Emens, Berta E. Hernandez-Truyol,, Vivian M. Gutierrez, Lisa C. Ikemoto, Jacob Willig-Onwuachi, Kimberly Mutcherson, Peter Siegelman & Beth Jones, Pregnant Man: A Conversation 22 Yale Journal of Law and Feminism (2010)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Osamudia James, The Declining Significance of Presidential Races? 72 Law & Contemporary Problems (2009)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Celebrating Critical Race Theory at 20 94 Iowa Law Review (2009)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, The Black Divide in Affirmative Action, in Our Promise: Achieving Educational Equality for America’s Children (Daniel Weddle & Maurice Dyson,2009)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Jacob Willig-Onwuachi, A House Divided: The Invisibility of the Multiracial Family 44 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (2009)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Emily Houh & Mary Campbell, Cracking the Egg: Which Came First—Stigma or Affirmative Action? 96 California Law Review (2008)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, The Story of Hudgins v. Wrights: Multiracialism and the Social Construction of Race, in Race Law Stories (Rachel F. Moran & Devon W. Carbado,2008)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, A Beautiful Lie: Exploring Rhinelander v. Rhinelander as a Formative Lesson on Race, Identity, Marriage, and Family 95 California Law Review (2007)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Volunteer Discrimination 40 UC Davis Law Review (2007)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Girl, Fight! 22 Berkeley Journal of Gender Law and Justice (2007) (book review)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, The Admission of Legacy Blacks 60 Vanderbilt Law Review (2007)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, There’s Just One Hitch, Will Smith: Examining Title VII, Race, Casting, and Discrimination on the Fortieth Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia 2007 Wisconsin Law Review (2007)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Representative Government, Representative Court? The Supreme Court as a Representative Body 90 Minnesota Law Review (2006)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Undercover Other 94 California Law Review (2006)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, This Bridge Called Our Backs: An Introduction to “The Future of Critical Race Feminism” 39 UC Davis Law Review (2006)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, The Return of the Ring: Welfare Reform’s Marriage Cure as the Revival of Post-Bellum Control 93 California Law Review (2005)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, For Whom Does the Bell Toll: The Bell Tolls for Brown? 103 Michigan Law Review (2005) (book review)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Just Another Brother on the SCT?: What Justice Clarence Thomas Teaches Us About the Influence of Racial Identity 90 Iowa Law Review (2005)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Mario Barnes, By Any Other Name?: On Being “Regarded As” Black, and Why Title VII Should Apply Even If Lakisha and Jamal Are White 2005 Wisconsin Law Review (2005)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Using the Master’s “Tool” to Dismantle His House: Why Justice Clarence Thomas Makes the Case for Affirmative Action 47 Arizona Law Review (2005)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Kevin Johnson, Cry Me A River: The Limits of 'A Systemic Analysis of Affirmative Action in American Law Schools' 7 Berkeley Journal of African American Law and Policy (2005)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, When Different Means the Same: Applying a Different Standard of Proof to White Plaintiffs Under the McDonnell Douglas Prima Facie Case Test 50 Case Western Reserve Law Review (1999)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, The Verdict on Roberts v. Texaco 15 Harvard BlackLetter Journal (1999) (book review)
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  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Note, Moving Ground, Breaking Traditions: Tasha’s Chronicle 3 Michigan Journal of Race and Law (1997)
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In the Media

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  • The New York Times November 18, 2022

    As More Top Law Schools Boycott Rankings, Others Say They Can’t Afford to Leave

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig is quoted.
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  • Law.com November 17, 2022

    ‘Potentially Game-Changing’: After Yale and Harvard Ditch US News Rankings, Other Law Schools Mull Their Own Moves

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig is quoted.
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  • Law.com October 11, 2022

    Golden Gate University Law Announces Plan to Return to ABA Compliance

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig is quoted.
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  • PR Newswire September 27, 2022

    Golden Gate University School of Law Offers Full Scholarships to all New In-Person JD Students

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig is quoted.
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  • BU Today September 19, 2022

    Transformative. Visionary. A Leader. BU Community Pays Tribute to President Brown.

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig is quoted.
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  • GBH July 1, 2022

    Justice Brown Jackson Can Still Have ‘Huge Impact’ on Divided Court, Scholar Says

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig speaks on a podcast.
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  • Editors' Pick June 25, 2022

    Law Professor: ‘There’s Not One Law That You Can Think of That Controls A Man’s Body’

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig is quoted.
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  • New England Cable News

    End of Roe v. Wade Expected to Have Harshest Effect on More Vulnerable Communities

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig is quoted.
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  • BU Alumni & Friends June 20, 2022

    Celebrating Juneteenth: A Look at BU’s Black History

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig is featured.
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  • BU Today June 14, 2022

    What Juneteenth Means to Me: a Photo Essay

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig is featured.
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  • ABC Action News June 6, 2022

    In-depth: Natural Hair and Addressing Race-based Hairstyle Discrimination

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig is quoted.
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  • Above the Law April 7, 2022

    Black Law School Deans on The Importance of Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Historic Supreme Court Confirmation

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig is featured.
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  • BU Today

    “She’s Earned This”: Angela Onwuachi-Willig Rejoices in Historic Confirmation

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig is quoted.
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  • Reuters April 6, 2022

    Black Law Deans Say Jackson Confirmation Could Inspire New Wave of Students

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig is quoted.
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  • NPR March 31, 2022

    The Power of ‘Holding Hands’; Efforts to Ban Hairstyle-Based Discrimination

    Angela Onwuachi-Willig joins in on a podcast.
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Activities & Engagements

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Courses

Critical Race Theory Colloquium(S): LAW JD 731

3 credits

In the mid-1980s, a scholarly movement to become known as "Critical Race Theory" (CRT) developed in legal academia. Early critical race theorists--including Derrick Bell, Mari Matsuda, Charles Lawrence, Richard Delgado, Kimberle Crenshaw, and Patricia Williams--challenged the substance and style of conventional legal scholarship. Substantively, race crits rejected formal equality, individual rights, and colorblind approaches to solving legal problems. Stylistically, critical race scholars often employed new methodologies for legal scholarship, including storytelling and narrative. The Critical Race Theory Colloquium is designed to expose students to core CRT principles and interrogate CRT's possibilities and limitations. This endeavor will require students to think critically about race and racism in conjunction with other intersecting structures of oppression and hierarchy. The Critical Race Theory Colloquium employs a workshop-format that enables students to engage leading scholars in the field of Critical Race Theory. The first part of the semester will involve a general overview of Critical Race Theory. During the remaining meetings, invited scholars will present works-in-progress for discussion. To prepare, students will write short reaction papers that include three questions for further discussion. Final grades depend on the reaction papers, class participation, and attendance. UPPER-CLASS WRITING REQUIREMENT: This class may not be used to satisfy the requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option. **A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.

FALL 2022: LAW JD 731 A1 , Sep 8th to Dec 8th 2022
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Thu 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Jonathan Feingold LAW 418