Vinay Harpalani

Vinay Harpalani

Visiting Professor

BS, University of Delaware
MA, University of Pennsylvania
PhD, University of Pennsylvania
JD, York University School of Law


Vinay Harpalani is Professor of Law and the Lee and Leon Karelitz Chair in Evidence and Procedure at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where he teaches courses in constitutional law, civil procedure, employment discrimination, and race and law. Professor Harpalani received the 2017 Derrick A. Bell, Jr. Award from the Association of American Law Schools Section on Minority Groups, and the 2016 Society of American Law Teachings Junior Teaching Faculty Award. His scholarship examines the nuances of racial identity, diversity, and equity from an interdisciplinary perspective, integrating law with social sciences and ethnic studies.

Professor Harpalani is a nationally-recognized expert on affirmative action in university admissions. He co-authored US Supreme Court amicus briefs in Fisher v. University of Texas II (2016) and Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard/University of North Carolina (2023). Several of his law review articles have been cited in US Supreme Court amicus briefs, and he has been quoted in national media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Time. Additionally, Professor Harpalani has written about topics such as skin color discrimination law, Asian American and South Asian American racialization, and racial identity development among Black children.

Professor Harpalani received his bachelors’ degrees from the University of Delaware, his masters’ degrees and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, and his JD from New York University School of Law. He grew up in New Castle County, Delaware, where his experiences with school desegregation led to his interest in race and law.


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  • Brief of Legal Scholars Defending Race-Conscious Admissions as Amici Curiae in Support of Respondents, SFFA v. Harvard (20-1199) and SFFA v. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (21-707)
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