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Faculty & Research

Martha L. Minow

300th Anniversary University Professor
Member of the Faculty of Education
Former Dean, Harvard Law School

Martha L. Minow

Degree:  J.D., Yale University; Ed.M., Harvard University, (1979)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]


Martha Minow, the 300th Anniversary University Professor, has taught at Harvard Law School since 1981, where her courses include 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.

Besides her many scholarly articles published in journals of law, history, and philosophy, her books include In Brown’s Wake: Legacies of America’s Educational Landmark (2010); Government by Contract (co-edited, 2009); Just Schools: Pursuing Equality in Societies of Difference (co-edited, 2008); Breaking the Cycles of Hatred: Memory, Law and Repair (edited by Nancy Rosenblum with commentary by other authors, 2003); Partners, Not Rivals: Privatization and the Public Good (2002); Engaging Cultural Differences: The Multicultural Challenge in Liberal Democracies (co-edited 2002); Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History After Genocide and Mass Violence (1998); Not Only for Myself: Identity, Politics and Law (1997); Law Stories (co-edited 1996); Narrative, Violence and the Law: The Essays of Robert M. Cover (co-edited 1992); and Making All the Difference: Inclusion, Exclusion, and American Law (1990). She is the co-editor of two law school casebooks, Civil Procedure: Doctrine, Practice and Context (3rd. edition 2008) and Women and the Law (4th edition 2007), and a reader, Family Matters: Readings in Family Lives and the Law (1993).

Minow served on the Independent International Commission Kosovo and helped to launch Imagine Co-existence, a program of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, to promote peaceful development in post-conflict societies. Her five-year partnership with the federal Department of Education and the Center for Applied Special Technology worked to increase access to the curriculum for students with disabilities and resulted in both legislative initiatives and a voluntary national standard opening access to curricular materials for individuals with disabilities. She has worked on the Divided Cities initiative which is building an alliance of global cities dealing with ethnic, religious, or political divisions.

Her honors include: The Sacks-Freund Teaching Award, selected by the Harvard Law School graduating class of 2005, the Holocaust Center Award, 2006, an Honorary Doctorate of Law, University of Toronto, 2006 and an Honorary Doctorate of Education, Wheelock College, 1996. After completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, Minow received a master’s degree in education from Harvard and her law degree from Yale. She clerked for Judge David Bazelon of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court of the United States. She joined the Harvard Law faculty as an assistant professor in 1981, was promoted to professor in 1986, was named the William Henry Bloomberg Professor of Law in 2003, and became the Jeremiah Smith Jr., Professor of Law in 2005. From 2009 to 2017, Minow served as the inaugural Morgan and Helen Chu Professor and Dean of Harvard Law School. She is also a lecturer in the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 


Making All the Difference: Inclusion, Exclusion, and American Law (1990)

Family Matters: Readings on Family Lives and the Law, Editor (1993)

Between Vengeance and Forgiving: Facing History After Genocide and Mass Violence (1998)

Not Only for Myself: Identity, Politics, and Law (1997)

Law Stories, Coeditor (with G. Bellow) (1996)


Acting Director, Harvard Center on Ethics in the Professions (2000-2001)

Board Member, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

Board Member, Covenant Foundation

Board Member, Revson Foundation

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