Jennifer Bennett Shinall '12

Assistant Professor of Law

Jennifer Bennett Shinall’s research interests are employment law, labor economics, and legal and economic history. Her research examines the effects of obesity on the labor market and how the legal system can address these effects. Other current research focuses on the employment effects of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008. Professor Shinall was the first graduate of the Ph.D. Program in Law and Economics at Vanderbilt University. Before returning to Vanderbilt as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in Law and Economics in 2013, Professor Shinall was a clerk for Judge John Tinder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She earned an A.B. in economics and history at Harvard University and her J.D. and Ph.D. in law and economics at Vanderbilt Law School, where she served as senior articles editor for Vanderbilt Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Professor Shinall teaches Employment Discrimination Law to J.D. students. She also teaches Labor Markets and Human Resources and the Ph.D. Workshop for the Ph.D. Program in Law and Economics.

Research Interests

Employment law, labor economics, and legal and economic history

Representative Publications

  • "What happens When the Definition of Disability Changes? The Case of Obesity," IZA Journal of Labor Economics 5:2 (2016)
    Full Text | WWW
  • “Distaste or Disability? Evaluating the Legal Framework for Protecting Obese Workers,” 37 Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law 101 (2016)
  • “Fifty Years Later: The Legacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” 34 Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 424 (2015) (with Joni Hersch)
  • "Slipping Away from Justice: The Effect of Attorney Skill on Trial Outcomes," 63 Vanderbilt Law Review 267 (2010). Winner of the Myron Penn Laughlin Award for excellence in a published Note.
    Full Text | PDF

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Contact Information

615-343-9622 (voice)
615-322-6691 (fax)
296 (office)

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., J.D. Vanderbilt University (Law and Economics)
A.B. Harvard University