Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Dean

Professor of Law

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

Areas of Interest
Civil Rights, Critical Race Theory, Employment Law, Evidence Law, Family Law, Gender Matters, Race and Law, Torts
Contact
  • Office 1102E
  • Phone 617-353-3112
Biography

Angela Onwuachi-Willig, a renowned legal scholar and expert in racial and gender inequality as well as civil rights law, joined Boston University School of Law as dean in August 2018.

Before joining the School of Law, Dean Onwuachi-Willig taught Employment Discrimination, Evidence, Family Law, Critical Race Theory, and Torts 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 an assistant professor of law.

Onwuachi-Willig writes in a variety of areas, including employment discrimination, family law, and critical race theory. She is 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, California Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Texas Law Review, UCLA Law Review, and Vanderbilt Law Review, to name a few.

Onwuachi-Willig is the recipient of numerous awards, including 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.

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 American Law Institute (ALI), American Bar Foundation (ABF), and Iowa Bar Foundation.

Onwuachi-Willig’s leadership roles include her service on the Grinnell College Alumni Council, including her current role as president. She also served as 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 also has served as the chair of the AALS Minority Groups Section, the AALS Law and Humanities Section, and the AALS Employment Discrimination Section and was chair of the 2015 AALS Mid-Year Workshop.

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
  1. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Combating Discrimination Against the Formerly Incarcerated in the Labor Market," in Symposium "A Fear of Too Much Justice"?: Equal Protection and the Social Sciences Thirty Years After McCleskey v. Kemp, 112 Northwestern University Law Review 1385 (2018).
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  2. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "What About #UsToo?: The Invisibility of Race in the #MeToo Movement," 128 Yale Law Journal Forum 105 (June 18, 2018).
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  3. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Mark L. Hatzenbuehler, Javier E. Flores, Joseph E. Cavanaugh & Marizen R. Ramirez, "Anti-bullying Policies and Disparities in Bullying: A State-Level Analysis," 53 American Journal of Preventive Medicine 184 (2017).
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  4. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Catherine Smith, Lauren Fontana, Tanya Washington & Barbara Bennett Woodhouse, 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, (2017).
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  5. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Extending the Normativity of the Extended Family: Reflections on Moore v. City of East Cleveland," in Symposium Moore Kinship, 85 Fordham Law Review 2655 (2017).
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  6. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Rebecca Bruening, Rosauro E. Orengo-Aguayo & Marizen R. Ramirez, "Implementation of Anti-bullying Legislation in Iowa Schools: A Qualitative Examination of School Administrators’ Perceived Barriers and Facilitators," 17 Journal of School Violence 284 (2017).
  7. 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 1113 (2017).
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  8. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Marizen R. Ramirez, Corinne Peek-Asa, Joseph E. Cavanaugh & Patrick Ten Eyck, "Evaluation of Iowa’s Anti-Bullying Law," 3 Injury Epidemiology 15 (2016).
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  9. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Hon. Solomon Oliver Jr.: Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio," 63 The Federal Lawyer 40 (August 2016).
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  10. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Obama’s State of the Union Should Honor Colleges That Give Prisoners a Chance," The New York Times (September 6, 2016).
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  11. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Trina Jones & Guy-Uriel E. Charles, "Race and Reform in Twenty-First Century America: Foreword," in Symposium Race and Reform in Twenty-First Century America, 79 Law & Contemporary Problems 1 (2016).
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  12. Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Kristen Konrad Tiscione, "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, eds., Cambridge University Press (2016).
  13. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "The Trauma of the Routine: Lessons on Cultural Trauma from the Emmett Till Verdict," 34 Sociological Theory 335 (2016).
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  14. Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Alexander Nourafshan, "From Outsider Status to Insider and Outsider Again: Interest Convergence Theory and Normalization of LGBT Identity," in Symposium After Marriage, 42 Florida State University Law Review 521 (2015).
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  15. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Erwin Chemerinsky & Mario Barnes, "Judging Opportunity Lost: Assessing the Viability of Race-Based Affirmative Action After Fisher v. University of Texas, Austin," 62 UCLA Law Review 272 (2015).
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  16. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Mario Barnes, Erwin Chemerinsky & Anne Richardson Oakes, "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 , Routledge (2015).
  17. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Lots of Love for this Loving Analysis," JOTWELL (March 26, 2014). Reviewing I. Bennett Capers, "The Crime of Loving: Loving, Lawrence, and Beyond", in Loving v. Virginia in a Post Racial World: Rethinking Race, Sex, and Marriage (Kevin Noble Maillard & Rose Cuison Villazor eds., 2012)
  18. Angela Onwuachi-Willig & William Kidder, "Still Hazy After All These Years: The Data and Theory Behind Mismatch," review of Richard Sander & Stuart Taylor Jr., Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It, Basic Books (2013), 92 Texas Law Review 895 (2014). SSRN | Scholarly Commons
  19. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "‘Obama’ Has Become a Code Word for Racists," New York Times (January 21, 2014).
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  20. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "'I Wish I Were Black' and Other Tales of Privilege," The Chronicle of Higher Education (October 28, 2013).
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  21. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family, Yale University Press (2013).
  22. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "The Definition of Marriage Bends Toward Justice," New York Times (November 20, 2013).
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  23. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Is Interracial Romance Still Scandalous?" HuffPost (May 24, 2013).
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  24. Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Anthony Alfieri, "Next-Generation Civil Rights Lawyers: Race and Representation in the Age of Identity Performance," 122 Yale Law Journal 1484 (2013). Review of Kenneth Mack, "Representing the Race: The Creation of the Civil Rights Lawyer" (2012) and Devon Carbado & Mitu Gulati, "Acting White? Rethinking Race in Post-Racial America" (2013).
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  25. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "An Officer and a Gentleman," in The New Black: What Has Changed-and What Has Not-with Race in America , Kenneth W. Mack & Guy-Uriel E. Charles, eds., The New Press (2013).
  26. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Portman Learned That the ‘Political’ Really Is ‘Personal'," Iowa City Press-Citizen (March 28, 2013).
  27. 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 Iowa Journal of Gender, Race and Justice 793 (2013).
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  28. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Still Learning From the Birmingham Jail," HuffPost (April 16, 2013).
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  29. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Supreme Court Affirmative Action Decision: Don’t Be Fooled by Flawed Theories," The Christian Science Monitor (May 28, 2013).
  30. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "To All the Colleges That May Never Get a Chance to Reject Me: From the Poor Black Kid With Two Moms," HuffPost (April 17, 2013).
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  31. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Understanding the Content of Our Character," Cedar Rapids Gazette 12A (Jan. 20, 2013).
  32. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "What Interracial and Gay Couples Know About ‘Passing’," The Atlantic (July 31, 2013).
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  33. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "What Would Be the Story of Alice and Leonard Rhinelander Today?" 46 U.C. Davis Law Review 939 (2013). Based on 2011-2012 Brigitte Bodenheimer Lecture.
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  34. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "What Would Mildred Loving Think About the Use of Images of Multiracial Families for Anti-LGBT Family Messages?" HuffPost (June 13, 2013).
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  35. Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Amber Fricke, "Do Female 'Firsts' Still Matter?: Why They Do for Women of Color," in Symposium Gender and the Legal Profession's Pipeline to Power, 2012 Michigan State Law Review 1529 (2012).
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  36. 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, eds., Cambridge University Press (2012).
  37. Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Mario Barnes, "The Obama Effect: Specialized Meanings in Anti-discrimination Law," in Symposium Labor and Employment Law under the Obama Administration: A Time for Hope and Change, 87 Indiana Law Journal 325 (2012).
    Publisher | Scholarly Commons
  38. 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, eds., Utah State University Press (2012).
  39. Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Amber Fricke, "Class, Classes, and Classic Race Baiting: What’s in a Definition?" 88 Denver Law Review 807 (2011). Invited response to Professor Richard Sander of UCLA Law School.
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  40. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Like Mrs. McCree:  A Tribute to Dores McCree," 16 Michigan Journal of Race and Law 143 (2011).
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  41. Vulnerable Populations and Transformative Law Teaching: A Critical Reader, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Raquel Aldana, Steven Bender, Olympia Duhart, Michele Benedetto Neitz, Hari Osofsky & Hazel Weiser, eds., Carolina Academic Press (2011).
  42. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Another Hair Piece:  Exploring New Strands of Analysis Under Title VII," 98 Georgetown Law Journal 1079 (2010).
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  43. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Complimentary and Complementary Discrimination in Faculty Hiring," 87 Washington University School of Law Review 763 (2010).
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  44. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "The Road to Virtual Equality," JOTWELL (October 4, 2010). Review of Miriam A. Cherry, A Taxonomy of Virtual Work, 45 Georgia Law Review 951 (2011).
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  45. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Teaching Employment Discrimination," 54 St. Louis Law Journal 755 (2010).
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  46. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "The Black Divide in Affirmative Action," in Our Promise: Achieving Educational Equality for America’s Children , Daniel Weddle & Maurice Dyson, eds., Carolina Academic Press (2009).
  47. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Celebrating Critical Race Theory at 20," in Symposium Critical Race Theory Speaker Series - CRT 20: Honoring Our Past, Charting Our Future, 94 Iowa Law Review 1497 (2009).
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  48. Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Osamudia James, "The Declining Significance of Presidential Races?" in Symposium Race and Socioeconomic Class: Examining an Increasingly Complex Tapestry, 72 Law & Contemporary Problems 89 (2009).
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  49. Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Jacob Willig-Onwuachi, "A House Divided: The Invisibility of the Multiracial Family," 44 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 231 (2009).
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  50. Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Jacob Willig-Onwuachi, "Now Each Citizen Can Proclaim “I Love You, and We Can Live in Iowa”," Iowa City Press-Citizen 9A (April 4, 2009).
  51. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Presidential Inauguration: Iowa Views (Great Pride, But Also Fear)," Des Moines Register 16A (Jan. 19, 2009).
  52. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Emily Houh & Mary Campbell, "Cracking the Egg: Which Came First—Stigma or Affirmative Action?" in Symposium Taking Initiative on Initiatives: Examining Proposition 209 and Beyond, 96 California Law Review 1299 (2008).
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  53. Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Jacob Willig-Onwuachi, "Iowa Supreme Court Should Again Be a Pioneer," Iowa City Press-Citizen 9A (Dec. 9, 2008).
  54. 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, eds., Foundation Press (2008).
  55. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Thomas, Clarence," in Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States, David S. Tanenhaus, ed., Macmillan Reference USA, 55 (2008).
  56. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Vote Buoys Faith in Power to Beat Racism," Des Moines Register 13A (Nov. 8, 2008).
  57. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "The Admission of Legacy Blacks," 60 Vanderbilt Law Review 1141 (2007).
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  58. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "A Beautiful Lie: Exploring Rhinelander v. Rhinelander as a Formative Lesson on Race, Identity, Marriage, and Family," 95 California Law Review 2393 (2007).
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  59. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Girl, Fight!" review of Megan Seely, Fight Like A Girl: How to Be A Fearless Feminist, NYU Press (2007), 22 Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice 254 (2007). Scholarly Commons
  60. 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," in Symposium Intimacy, Race, Marriage, and the Meanings of Equality: Perspectives on the 40th Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, 2007 Wisconsin Law Review 319 (2007).
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  61. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Volunteer Discrimination," 40 U.C. Davis Law Review 1895 (2007).
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  62. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Concealing a Truth When It Doesn’t Fit," review of Kenji Yoshino, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights, (2006), Legal Times (March 27, 2006).
  63. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Looking at Race Through 'Survivor'," Philadelphia Inquirer 9 (Oct. 5, 2006).
  64. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Representative Government, Representative Court? The Supreme Court as a Representative Body," in Symposium The Future of the Supreme Court: Institutional Reform and Beyond, 90 Minnesota Law Review 1252 (2006).
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  65. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "This Bridge Called Our Backs," in Symposium The Future of Critical Race Feminism, 39 U.C. Davis Law Review 733 (2006).
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  66. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Undercover Other," 94 California Law Review 873 (2006).
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  67. 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 1283 (2005).
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  68. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Clarence Thomas as Chief Justice?" Chicago Tribune 9 (Jan. 2, 2005).
  69. Angela Onwuachi-Willig & Kevin R. 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 & Policy 1 (2005).
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  70. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "For Whom Does the Bell Toll: The Bell Tolls for Brown?" review of Derrick Bell, Silent Covenants: Brown v. Board of Education  and the Unfulfilled Hopes for Racial Reform, Oxford University Press (2005), 103 Michigan Law Review 1507 (2005). SSRN | Scholarly Commons
  71. 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 931 (2005).
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  72. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Living Life in a Paradox," Chicago Tribune 9 (Sept. 18, 2005).
  73. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "The Return of the Ring: Welfare Reform’s Marriage Cure as the Revival of Post-Bellum Control," 93 California Law Review 1647 (2005).
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  74. 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 113 (2005).
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  75. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Other View: Bird Creates Buzz About Race in the NBA," The Sacramento Bee B7 (July 6, 2004).
  76. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "The Verdict on Roberts v. Texaco," review of Bari-Ellen Roberts, Roberts v. Texaco: A True Story of Race and Corporate America, Avon Books (1998), (1999). Scholarly Commons
  77. 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 53 (1999).
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  78. Angela Onwuachi-Willig, "Note, Moving Ground, Breaking Traditions: Tasha’s Chronicle," 3 Michigan Journal of Race and Law 255 (1997).
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