About Martha Minow

Martha Minow, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law, has taught at Harvard Law School since 1981, where her courses have included civil procedure, constitutional law, family law, international criminal justice, jurisprudence, law and education, nonprofit organizations, and the public law workshop. An expert in human rights and advocacy for members of racial and religious minorities and for women, children, and persons with disabilities, she also writes and teaches about privatization, military justice, and ethnic and religious conflict.
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Dean Minow: Recent Perspectives and Scholarship

 2013 Message to Alumni
"These challenges—for law firms, law schools, and the justice system itself—can be tackled more effectively if they are approached together. Efforts to revamp the business models of law firms and law schools could promote collaborations that improve access to justice." [Continue reading.]
  Points of Inflection
"Although historians will surely devote much ink—or bytes—to the financial crisis, I believe that this time will be known as an inflection point in world history because of huge revolutions under way in the world—changes that make this an electrifying time to be in the legal profession."  [Continue reading.] 

In Brown’s Wake: Legacies of America’s Educational Landmark
In her new book (Oxford University Press, 2010), Dean Minow explores the wide-ranging impact of Brown v. Board of Education — on everything from school choice in the U.S. to legal challenges to the treatment of Roma children in the Czech Republic.  

"In some ways it’s been a life’s project," she told the Harvard Law Bulletin. "After graduate work and research in education during the Boston desegregation struggles, I pursued law school in hopes of advancing the efforts for equal education opportunity. I had the privilege of clerking for Justice Thurgood Marshall and discussing with him the unfinished business of Brown v. Board of Education. I lived through fights over the treatments of gender, class, religion, disability, and sexual orientation in schools and elsewhere. When the 50th anniversary of Brown came around, I was dismayed by how much of the public discussion and scholarly debate stressed the failures of the decision. I decided to write a book acknowledging disappointments while tracking the unexpected legacies of the decision."

Dean Minow: In The News

  • Hemenway and Sullivan

    Harvard experts examine Gun violence and policy, post Newtown (video)

    On Feb. 15, a panel of legal and public-health scholars, moderated by Dean Martha Minow and including Clinical Professor Ron Sullivan and Alan A. Stone, professor of Law and Psychiatry, gathered at Harvard Law School for a public forum on gun violence, gun policy and the prospects for meaningful reform in a post-Newtown landscape.

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    Dean Minow joins MacArthur board

    Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow has been elected to serve on the MacArthur Foundation Board of Directors. Minow, an expert on human rights and advocacy for disadvantaged populations, will join in September.

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    Dean Minow congratulates the Class of 2012 (video)

    During Commencement on May 24, Dean Martha Minow congratulated the Harvard Law School Class of 2012 on all that they accomplished while at HLS. Minow urged graduates in their future careers not only to take problems apart and work to persuade others, but also to celebrate and extend their role as designers.

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    Minow’s Book “In Brown’s Wake” receives Education Law Association Award

    Dean Martha Minow’s most recent book, “In Brown’s Wake: Legacies of America’s Educational Landmark,” recently received The Steven S. Goldberg Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Education Law. The award is given annually by the Education Law Association “in recognition of an outstanding article, book, book chapter, or other form of scholarly legal writing in the field of education law.”

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    Martha Minow named co-chair of LSC Pro Bono Task Force

    Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow, who serves on the board of directors for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), was selected as co-chair of an LSC task force to develop additional resources to help low-income Americans facing serious civil legal problems.

  • Power and Constraint book cover

    Goldsmith, Minow, Fried and Nye discuss the accountability presidency after 9/11

    The presidency is more powerful, larger, and has more tools at its disposal than ever before, said Harvard Law School Professor Jack Goldsmith. But, he quickly added, that’s only half the story. The other half of the story—the forces that constrain presidential power—was the main topic during a March19 panel discussion of his new book “Power and Constraint: The Accountability Presidency after 9/11,” hosted by the Harvard Book Store at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square.

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    Minow recognized for outstanding contribution to public discourse

    HLS Dean Martha Minow received the Gold Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Public Discourse from the College Historical Society of Trinity College, Dublin at a ceremony on Nov. 13, 2012. The College Historical Society, popularly referred to as “The Hist,” is one of the world’s oldest undergraduate debating societies, established in 1770.

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    Panelists discuss Dean Minow's latest book "In Brown’s Wake: Legacies of America’s Educational Landmark" (video)

    The continuing debate over Brown v. Board of Education's effects was forcefully illustrated on Tuesday, Sept. 28, by a panel discussion of Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow’s new book, “In Brown’s Wake: Legacies of America’s Educational Landmark,” the first in a series of events on faculty-authored books sponsored by the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice and HLS.

  • March

    Harvard Law School celebrates 2013 Commencement

    Harvard Law School graduation festivities began on Class Day, Wednesday, May 29, and continued through Commencement Day on Thursday, May 30.

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