Portia Pedro

Associate Professor of Law

BA, University of California, Los Angeles
JD, Harvard Law School
PhD, Yale University

Areas of Interest
Civil Procedure, Civil Rights, Critical Race Theory, Federal Courts, Remedies

Portia Pedro, a former public interest litigation fellow who also worked as a litigation associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, joined the full-time faculty of Boston University School of Law as an associate professor in July 2018. She teaches civil procedure, remedies, and critical civil procedure.

Professor Pedro studies the ways in which racial subordination and subordination of other marginalized groups is embedded in civil procedure, remedies, and federal courts. She attempts to identify the marginalizing effects of seemingly technocratic or neutral rules, mechanisms, and doctrines in order to work against inequality that is embedded in the structure of the U.S. legal system. Her forthcoming co-edited book volume, A Guide to Civil Procedure: Integrating Critical Legal Perspectives, will be a resource of critical legal perspectives about civil procedure that focus on issues such as race, sex, gender identity and expression, disability, class, immigration status, and sexual orientation.

During her two years as a litigation associate at Debevoise in New York, Professor Pedro conducted motions practice, second-seated a trial, prepared witnesses for federal investigations, and litigated class action claims. She also practiced law for two years as a John J. Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest and Constitutional Law at Gibbons PC in Newark, New Jersey, where she litigated civil rights claims, negotiated attorneys’ fees, and filed amicus briefs. Professor Pedro co-authored briefs that secured marriage equality for same-sex couples in New Jersey, and she successfully opposed a motion to dismiss the equal protection claims of Muslim plaintiffs in New Jersey who were surveilled by the New York Police Department for their religious beliefs. Prior to her doctoral studies, Pedro served as a clerk to the Honorable Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Professor Pedro is completing her PhD in Law at Yale Law School with a research focus on civil procedure. She holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA in International Development Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. At Harvard Law School, she served as treasurer and vice president of the Harvard Law Review, as an editor of the BlackLetter Law Journal and Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, and as Harvard Black Law Students Association’s political chair.

  1. A Guide to Civil Procedure: Integrating Critical Legal Perspectives, Portia Pedro, Brooke Coleman, Suzette Malveaux & Elizabeth Porter, eds., NYU Press (forthcoming).
  2. Portia Pedro, "A Prelude to a Critical Race Theoretical Account of Civil Procedure," 107 Virginia Law Review Online 143 (2021).
    Publisher | SSRN | Scholarly Commons
  3. Portia Pedro, "Toward Establishing A Pre-Extinction Definition of “Nationwide Injunctions”," 91 University of Colorado Law Review 847 (2020).
    SSRN | Scholarly Commons
  4. Portia Pedro, "Stays," 106 California Law Review 869 (2018).
    SSRN | Scholarly Commons
  5. Portia Pedro, "Note, Making Ballot Initiatives Work: Some Assembly Required," 123 Harvard Law Review 959 (2010).
    SSRN | Scholarly Commons
  6. Portia Pedro, "Recent Case, Ninth Circuit Considers Community's Racial Tension with Police in Finding Illegal Seizure and Lack of Voluntary Consent. — United States V. Washington, 490 F.3d 765 (9th Cir. 2007)," 121 Harvard Law Review 1669 (2008).
    SSRN | Scholarly Commons
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