Emerita Professor of Law
Nancy Ehrenreich is a nationally known scholar in the fields of feminist legal theory and critical race feminism, as well as a leader among progressive law professors working for social justice. She attended Mount Holyoke College, one of the Seven Sister schools, before graduating magna cum laude from Yale. After working at a nonprofit and then as a paralegal in New York City, Prof. Ehrenreich attended law school at the University of Virginia, where she earned both a J.D. degree (cum laude) and an L.L.M.
After completing her L.L.M., Professor Ehrenreich spent nearly two years living in a small village in Togo, West Africa. She speaks Kabiye, the local language of that area, as well as fluent Spanish and rusty French. Upon returning to the United States, she was appointed Co-Director of the Legal Research and Writing program at the University of Virginia School of Law, where she also taught Feminist Legal Theory. In 1989, she accepted her current position at the Sturm College of Law. She was tenured in 1995 and promoted to full professor in 2002. The seminar she offers here on Race, Class, and Reproductive Justice, was one of the first law school courses of its kind in the United States.
Professor Ehrenreich’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of race and gender, highlighting inequalities in the legal treatment of low-income women of color and other marginalized groups. Her work has been published in many prominent law journals, including the Yale Law Journal, the Duke Law Journal, the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, and the Michigan Journal of Race and Law. Her book, The Reproductive Rights Reader: Law, Medicine, and the Construction of Motherhood, published by NYU Press, has been assigned reading in many law, and non-law, courses around the country.
A leading voice in the legal academy for academic freedom and social justice, Prof. Ehrenreich has served on many working boards focusing on inequality in both law schools and the broader society. Her contributions include serving for several years as a member of the national board of governors of the Society of American Law Teachers, the country’s largest membership organization for law professors; serving on the board of directors and as national co-chair of Latina and Latino Criticial Legal Theory, Inc. (“LatCrit”), a national organization dedicated to the development of critical scholarship and pedagogy; and serving on both advisory and working boards for interAct, an intersex children’s rights organization.
Professor Ehrenreich is also a founding member of the Sturm College of Law’s Rocky Mountain Collective on Race, Place, and Law. And she was one of eight tenured, full professors of law at the SCOL who, along with the federal EEOC, sued the University of Denver for sex discrimination in wages, winning a landmark settlement for $2.7 million in 2018.
After more than thirty years on the faculty of the Sturm College of Law, Professor Ehrenreich anticipates retiring at the end of December, 2021.
- JD, 1979; LL.M, 1982, University of Virginia
- BA, 1974, Yale University
- Breastfeeding on a Nickel and a Dime: Why the Affordable Care Act Won't Help Low-Wage Mothers, co-authored with Jaime Siebrase, 20 Michigan Journal of Race & Law 65 (2014).
- The Global Politics of Food: A Critical Overview, co-authored with Beth Lyon, 43 University of Miami Inter-American Law Review 1 (2011).
- The Reproductive Rights Reader: Law, Medicine, and the Construction of Motherhood, NYU Press, 2007.
- Intersex Surgery, Female Genital Cutting, and the Selective Condemnation of 'Cultural Practices'', 40 HARV. C.R.- C.L. L. REV. 71 (2005).
- Disguising Empire: Racialized Masculinity and the 'Civilizing' of Iraq, 52 CLEVELAND ST. L. REV. 131 (2005) (publishing papers presented at the Seventh Annual LatCrit Conference).
- Subordination & Symbiosis: Mechanisms of Mutual Support between Subordinating Systems, 71 U.M.K.C. L. REV. 251 (2002) (featured paper, symposium on "Theorizing the Connections between Systems of Subordination").
- Putting Theory into Practice: A Battered Women's Clemency Clinic, co-authored with Jacqueline St. Joan, 8 CLINICAL L. REV. 171 (2001).
- The Colonization of the Womb, 43 DUKE. L.J. 492 (1993).
- Pluralist Myths and Powerless Men: The Ideology of Reasonableness in Sexual Harassment Law, 90 YALE L.J. 1177 (1990).