Constitutional law scholar Jessica Clarke joins Vanderbilt’s law faculty

Aug 15, 2018

Professor Jessica Clarke Law SchoolConstitutional law scholar Jessica Clarke has joined the faculty of Vanderbilt Law School as a professor of law.

Clarke’s appointment was announced by Dean Chris Guthrie. She previously taught at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Clarke’s scholarly research focuses on American equality law. She studies constitutional and statutory guarantees of non-discrimination based on traits such as race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion and disability. Her work interrogates the limits of non-discrimination law, and explicates its underlying purposes and rationales. Her most recent article, “They, Them and Theirs,” which argues for the right to non-binary gender, is forthcoming in the Harvard Law Review. Her other new article, “Explicit Bias,” argues that the current focus on implicit bias has ignored ways in which courts ignore more pernicious explicit bias, and is forthcoming in the Northwestern University Law Review this year.

Her work, which has been published in the Yale Law Journal, New York University Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Michigan Law Review and California Law Review, among others; has been selected for the Harvard-Stanford-Yale Junior Faculty Forum; and has received the Dukeminier Award for the best legal scholarship on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Jessica Clarke is a respected scholar who has made important contributions in the areas of equality law and how the law treats gender identity and addresses discrimination,” Dean Guthrie said. “I look forward to her contributions to constitutional scholarship and to the law school as a member of our faculty.”

Clarke earned her J.D. at Yale Law School in 2003. She served as a law clerk for Judge Shira Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and for Judge Rosemary Pooler of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Before entering the legal academy as an associate-in-law at Columbia Law School, she worked as an associate in the New York office of Covington & Burling. She joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota Law School in 2011 and was awarded tenure in 2016. In the fall of 2016, she was the Walter V. Schaefer Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago Law School.

She earned her B.A. in politics from Whitman College summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.  At Whitman, she received the Robert Fluno Award for Best Senior Paper in Politics and the Class of 1986 Minority Student Award, and won a national debate championship.

She teaches Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law.

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