Faculty & Staff



Visiting Professor - January Term 2018
Frank Boas Harvard Visiting Professor


MEd, Havard
JD, Yale


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, became the Jeremiah Smith Jr., Professor of Law in 2005, and after her service as dean, became the Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence in 2017. She is also a lecturer in the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University.

Minow served as Dean of Harvard Law School between 2009-2017. In addition to many scholarly articles published in journals of law, history and philosophy, she has published over sixteen books. She is the Vice-Chair of the Legal Services Corporation, which provides civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. Minow has served on the Center for Strategic and International Studies Commission on Countering Violent Extremism and on the Independent International Commission Kosovo. She 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 sought to access to the curriculum for students with disabilities and resulted in both legislative initiatives and a voluntary national standard for individuals with disabilities.

Her honors include: the Sargent Equal Justice Award (2016); Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize, Brandeis University (2016); nine honorary degrees (in law, education, and humane letters) in three countries; the Gold Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Public Disclosure, awarded by the College of Historical Society of Trinity College, Dublin; the Holocaust Center Award; and the Sacks-Freund Teaching Award, awarded by the Harvard Law School graduating class. Minow’s 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.

She is currently a member of the boards of the Advantage Testing Foundation, CBS, the MacArthur Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the SCE Foundation. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences since 1992, Minow has also been a senior fellow of Harvard’s Society of Fellows, a member of the Harvard University Press Board of Syndics, a senior fellow and acting director of what is now Harvard’s Safra Foundation Center on Ethics, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a Fellow of the American Philosophical Society. She has delivered over 70 named or endowed letters and keynote addresses.

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