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American Bar Foundation Appoints Rachel F. Moran Inaugural William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law

August 18, 2015, Press releases

Contact:         Lucinda Underwood
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Former UCLA Law School Dean will hold endowed chair in 2015-2016

Chicago, August 18, 2015 – The American Bar Foundation has announced the appointment of Rachel F. Moran as the first scholar to hold the William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law.  Moran, who recently stepped down as dean of UCLA Law School, is Dean Emerita and the Michael J. Connell Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, and will hold the Neukom Fellows Research Chair as a visiting professor in 2015-2016.

The Neukom Fellows Research Chair was established in 2014 by the ABF to spearhead empirical research on law and legal processes centered on issues of diversity and inequality that women, people of color, people with disabilities, and persons from the LGBTQ community face in legal practice and before the law. At the ABF Moran will serve as co-director of a new ABF research initiative, The Future of Latinos in the United States: Law, Opportunity, and Mobility.  She will also begin a new research project on U.S. inequality, diversity, and the future of legal education and the legal profession.

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Rachel Moran as the inaugural William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law at the American Bar Foundation,” said Robert L. Nelson, outgoing director of the ABF. “Dean Moran brings additional dimension to our research program on rights, race, and the law. We are already at work on The Future of Latinos project and Dean Moran will help strengthen the ABF’s capacity to produce the kind of cutting-edge research on diversity and law for which the Neukom Fellows Research Chair was created.”

Moran said she is honored and excited to serve in this new role.  “The Neukom Fellowship offers an unprecedented opportunity to do urgent and important work that advances equal justice even as inequality rises in the United States,” said Moran. “Addressing the needs of the growing number of Latinos in our country is one such effort.  Projected to make up 30 percent of the nation’s population by the year 2050, Latinos will find either a bright future or blocked opportunity depending on the laws and policies that we adopt in the coming years.” She added, “Our profession’s reputation for serving the greater good will be shaped in significant degree by how we rise to critical challenges like this one.” 

Ajay K. Mehrotra, director-designate of the ABF who will take office on Sept. 1, 2015 said, “Everyone at the ABF is extremely excited by the appointment of Rachel Moran. Her research has made a large impact on the field of race and the law. Dean Moran is an outstanding choice for the inaugural Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law and our faculty, our board of directors, and our staff look forward to welcoming her in the fall.”

Moran was appointed dean of UCLA Law School in 2010.  Prior to her tenure at UCLA, Professor Moran was the Robert D. and Leslie-Kay Raven Professor of Law at UC Berkeley School of Law. From July 2008 to June 2010, Moran served as a founding faculty member of the UC Irvine Law School.

Moran received her A.B. in Psychology with Honors and with Distinction from Stanford University in 1978, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa her junior year. She obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1981, where she was an Editor of the Yale Law Journal.  Following law school, she clerked for Chief Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and worked for the San Francisco firm of Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe.

Moran joined the UC Berkeley law faculty in 1983. From 1993 to 1996 she served as chair of the Chicano/Latino Policy Project at UC Berkeley’s Institute for the Study of Social Change, and in 2003, Moran became the director of the Institute. In 1995, she received the UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award.

Moran’s recent publications include: Educational Policy and the Law (with Mark G. Yudof, Betsy Levin, James E. Ryan and Kristi L. Bowman) (5th ed. Cengage 2011); Race Law Stories (with Devon Carbado, Foundation Press, 2008); Interracial Intimacy: The Regulation of Race and Romance (University of Chicago Press, 2001); “Race Law Cases in the American Story,” (with Devon W. Carbado) in Civil Rights in American Law, History, and Politics 16 (edited by Austin Sarat, Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Moran is highly active in the legal community. In September 2011, she was appointed by President Obama to serve as a member of the Permanent Committee for the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise. She was President of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in 2009. She is a member of the American Law Institute and served on the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools. She sat on the Standing Committee of the Division of Public Education of the American Bar Association, and served on the Executive Board of the Berkeley Law Foundation.

In May 2014, she was selected by American Bar Association (ABA) President James R. Silkenat to serve on the ABA Task Force on the Financing of Legal Education.  In recent years, she was also inducted into the Lincoln Club and the Chancery Club of Los Angeles, and in 2013, she was elected to the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s Board of Governors. In addition, in 2003 Moran chaired the Planning Committee for Taking Stock: Women of All Colors in Law Schools for the Association of American Law Schools and previously chaired the Steering Committee for UC ACCORD. 

About the American Bar Foundation

The American Bar Foundation’s mission is to serve the legal profession, the public, and the academy through empirical research, publications, and programs that advance justice and the understanding of law and its impact on society. Primary funding for the ABF is provided by the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation and the American Bar Endowment. 

The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation is an honorary organization of lawyers, judges, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession.

The William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Lawestablished in 2014, is dedicated to the values of diversity in the legal profession, the creation of communities of equity and opportunity, and the provision of equal justice through law. The Neukom Fellows Research Chair was made possible through generous gifts from William H. Neukom, Walmart, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Sidley Austin Foundation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Kirkland and Ellis LLP, and The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.


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