2019 - 2021 Trustees


Bernadette Atuahene Bernadette Atuahene is a law professor at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and a Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation. She earned her BA from UCLA (magna cum laude), JD from Yale, and her MPA from Harvard. After graduating, she served as a judicial clerk at the Constitutional Court of South Africa and then practiced as an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York. Atuahene has written extensively about land dispossession and she has worked as a consultant for the World Bank and the South African Land Claims Commission. She has been honored with the Fulbright Fellowship, Council on Foreign Relation’s International Affairs Fellowship, and Princeton’s Law and Public Affairs Fellowship. Her first book, We Want What’s Ours: Learning from South Africa’s Land Restitution Program (Oxford University Press, 2014), is based on 150 interviews she conducted with South Africans dispossessed of their land by the colonial and apartheid governments and who received some form of compensation post-apartheid. In addition to her book, she directed and produced an award winning short documentary film about one South African family’s struggle to regain their land. In 2015, she won a National Science Foundation Grant for her new book project about land and housing in Detroit. Atuahene has previously served as a Trustee of the Law and Society Association (2010-2013). She has also chaired the John Hope Franklin Award and has been a committee member for the Kalven Prize, the Article Prize, and twice for the Jacob Book Prize.


Mario Barnes Mario L. Barnes is the Toni Rembe Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Washington School of Law. From 2009 until June 2018, he was a Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Research, and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law (UCI Law). At UCI Law, he also held a joint appointment (by courtesy) in the Criminology, Law and Society department, served as Faculty Affiliate in the Center in Law, Society & Culture, and as Co-Director of the UCI Center on Law, Equality and Race (2012-18). He previously taught at the University of Miami School of Law from 2004-2009.

He received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and an LL.M. from the University of Wisconsin, where he was a William H. Hastie Fellow. His research principally draws on empirical and critical studies of antidiscrimination to examine how law is used to facilitate or disrupt subordination along multiple lines of identity, especially gender and race. For the past several years, he has been an active member of the Critical Research on Race and the Law CRN (CRN 12) and the Empirical Methods and Critical Race Theory (e-CRT) working group—a national, multi-disciplinary convening, which brings scholars of varied methodologies/perspectives into conversation around the study of race. He has authored/co-authored numerous articles in journals including, Law and Contemporary Problems, UCLA Law Review, Northwestern Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Indiana Law Journal, Fordham Law Review, Berkeley Journal of African-American Law and Policy and the Law and Society Review (response essay and book reviews).

He has been a member of the Law and Society Association since 2002 and has recently served in the following capacities: Publications Committee (2017-18); Budget and Finance Committee (2013-2016); Treasurer and Executive Committee (2013-15); Trustee (Class of 2011); Co-Chair (2010-11) and member (2011-12) of the John Hope Franklin Prize Committee; and, the President’s Committee to Review Annual Meetings (2009-10). He also previously served as a member of the Program Committee (Baltimore 2006), Graduate Student Workshop Committee (2009), Nominating Committee, and as Chair of the Diversity Committee. He was an advisory board member for Law and Social Inquiry (LSI) (Vol. 37) and has been a reviewer for LSI, LSR, Race & Social Problems and the Dubois Review. He received the Association of American Law Schools, Minority Groups Section, 2008 Derrick Bell Award (for junior scholars) and the 2015 Clyde Ferguson Award (for senior scholars). These awards are given to a scholar who, through activism, mentoring, teaching and scholarship, has made an extraordinary contribution to legal education, the legal system, or social justice.


Tonya L. Brito Tonya L. Brito is the Jefferson Burrus-Bascom Professor of Law at University of Wisconsin Law School and a member of the Executive Board of UW’s Institute for Research on Poverty. Her research interests include family law and policy, law and inequality, socio-legal studies, critical race empiricism, and qualitative research methods. Professor Brito's scholarship critically examines the intersection of family law and poverty law. Professor Brito's recent publications include Focused Ethnography: A Methodological Approach for Engaged Legal Research (in press); “I Do for My Kids”: Negotiating Race and Racial Inequality in Family Court, awarded LSA’s John Hope Franklin Prize Honorable Mention; and Chronicle of a Debt Foretold: Zablocki v. Red Hail, 434 U.S. 374 (1978), an oral history research study of a Supreme Court decision involving a successful challenge to Wisconsin's "permission to marry" statute.

Professor Brito is the lead PI of an interdisciplinary qualitative study analyzing the civil justice experiences of low-income fathers who owe unpaid child support and cannot afford attorney representation within the family court system. Drawing from five years of fieldwork, Professor Brito is using ethnographic observations of child support enforcement hearings, court records, hearing transcripts, and interviews with judges, government lawyers, defense counsel and litigants to examine how pro se litigants navigate the court process and how attorney representation makes a difference to case outcomes. Professor Brito’s study has been supported by several research grants and fellowships, including two awards from the NSF’s Law and Social Science Program and a 2018-2019 Visiting Scholar position at the Russell Sage Foundation.

The Law and Society Association has been Professor Brito’s intellectual home since joining the academy. In addition to regularly organizing session panels and roundtables for the Annual Meeting, she participated in LSA’s 1998 Summer Institute, served on the Graduate Student Workshop Committee (2002-2003), was a member of the Annual Meeting Program Committee (2003-2004); a member of the Membership Committee (2004-2005), a member of the faculty hosting the 2005 LSA Summer Institute at Oxford, a member of the Law and Society Review Editorial Board (2003-2006), a member of the Dissertation Prize Committee (2008-2009), a member of the Kalven Prize Committee (2010-2011), the chair of the John Hope Franklin Prize Committee (2011-2012) and has been an active member of CRN 12, Critical Research on Race and the Law.

At UW Law School, Professor Brito previously served as Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development (2014-2016) and the Director of the Institute for Legal Studies (2013-2016). As ILS Director, she hosted numerous conferences, speaker series, and other academic programs, including the 2014 Midwest Law & Society Retreat, the Legal Studies Workshop Series, and the Law and Society Speaker Series. She also developed and inaugurated the Law & Society Graduate Fellows Program at UW Law. She is a recipient of both the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s 2012 Outstanding Women of Color in Education Award and the University of Wisconsin System’s 2012 Outstanding Women of Color in Education Award. She has been a visiting professor at Justus Liebig University Giessen in Giessen, Germany (2013), Doshisha Law School, in Kyoto, Japan (2012) and University of Maryland Law School (2004).


Renée Ann Cramer Renée Ann Cramer has called the Law and Society Association home since attending her first meeting, as a participant in the Graduate Student Workshop, in Miami in 2000. Cramer is Professor of Law, Politics, and Society at Drake University (Des Moines, IA). She holds PhD and an MA in Political Science from New York University (2001; 2000); her BA in Politics is from Bard College (1994). Her current research, funded by the Law and Social Sciences section of the National Science Foundation, as well as by the American Political Science Association, is on the legal mobilization of pro-midwifery advocates in the United States. Cramer’s most recent book, Pregnant with the Stars: Watching and Wanting the Pregnant Celebrity Body was published in the Cultural Lives of the Law list at Stanford University Press, in 2015. Her abiding interest in the constitution of identity and status through interaction with regulatory law is evident in her first book, Cash, Color, and Colonialism: The Politics of Tribal Acknowledgment (2005), which grew from her dissertation, named 2001 Best Dissertation in the Field of Racial and Ethnic Politics by APSA. Cramer’s articles have been published in PLoS One: Medicine, International Review of Qualitative Research, Law and Social Inquiry, Law & Policy, and elsewhere. She serves on the editorial board of Law & Policy, and has been actively involved in the Life of the Law. A first generation college student from small town South Dakota, Cramer has dedicated her teaching career to developing the capacity of undergraduates, and, as Department Chair for seven years, building a vibrant, equitable, and inclusive culture of interdisciplinary sociolegal studies. She has served on the Board of the Consortium of Undergraduate Law and Justice Programs (CULJPS), including two terms as president (2014-2018). In this capacity she worked closely with LSA to field professional development panels on undergraduate research, the relationship of law school and undergraduate education, how to navigate the job market, and program/curricular development. She has served on the LSA Membership and Professional Development Committee, including two years as co-chair, and as a member of the Herbert Jacob Book Prize committee (2017-2018). A committed “public intellectual” Cramer’s op-eds have been published nationally, and she frequently contributes to reporting on reproductive justice issues. She is interested to see LSA expand its public-facing programming, enabling the Association to contribute our members’ voices to public conversations that would benefit from our expertise.


Mark Fathi Massoud Mark Fathi Massoud is Director of the Legal Studies Program and Associate Professor of Politics and Legal Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz (USA). Massoud's research and teaching address the interplay between religion, law, and politics. His second book is Shari'a, Inshallah: Recovering the Rule of Law in Somalia's Islamic State (under contract, Cambridge Univ. Press). He is the author of Law's Fragile State: Colonial, Authoritarian, and Humanitarian Legacies in Sudan, which received LSA's Herbert Jacob Book Award. Massoud has participated in LSA conferences since 2007 and has twice served on LSA's best undergraduate and graduate student paper award committees. He serves on the boards of Law & Society Review, Law & Policy, Law & Social Inquiry, and the International Journal of Law in Context; he is also co-editor of the Cambridge Studies in Law and Society book series. Committed to delivering on LSA’s goal of encouraging mentoring, he co-organized the sociolegal studies early career writing workshop in Africa (2019 and 2017) and has organized LSA conference panels on publishing practices, fieldwork, and the peer review process. Born in Sudan and raised in California, Massoud holds a JD and PhD from UC Berkeley's jurisprudence and social policy program. He has been a visiting fellow of Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Princeton University's Program in Law and Public Affairs, and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and Nuffield College, Oxford University. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2015.


Renisa Mawani Renisa Mawani is Professor of Sociology and recurring Chair of the Law and Society Program at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver) where she has been since 2003. She works in the fields of critical theory, colonial legal history and has published widely on law, colonialism, migration, and legal geography. She is the author of two books, Colonial Proximities (2009) and Across Oceans of Law (2018) and a series of articles, which have been published in Law and Society Review, Law and Social Inquiry, and Annual Review of Law and Social Science, and elsewhere. With Iza Hussin, she is co-editor of “The Travels of Law: Indian Ocean Itineraries” published in Law and History Review (2014). She has been actively involved in LSA, serving as chair of the Dissertation Prize Committee, as member of the Program Committee and the Herbert Jacob Book Prize Committee, and as a member on the editorial board of Law and Society Review.


Angela Onwuachi-Willig Angela Onwuachi-Willig is Dean and Professor of Law at Boston University School of Law. Previously, she served as Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law, the Charles and Marion Kierscht Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law, and Assistant Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis. She is a graduate of Grinnell College (B.A.), the University of Michigan Law School (J.D.), and Yale University (Ph.D. in Sociology and African American Studies). After law school, she clerked for The Honorable Solomon Oliver, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Ohio (and an NYU Law alumnus) and The Honorable Karen Nelson Moore, U.S. Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and worked at both Jones Day and Foley Hoag LLP.

Dean Onwuachi-Willig is a leading scholar of law and inequality. Her research centers on race, gender, and class inequalities; employment discrimination; affirmative action; and family law. She is author of According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family (Yale 2013). She is currently working on a book that explores how African-Americans/Blacks as a group have experienced the legal outcomes in high profile cases involving the killings of unarmed or non-threatening African-Americans/Blacks, particularly in the case concerning the death of Trayvon Martin. Her articles have appeared in leading law journals like the Yale Law Journal, California Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, and Vanderbilt Law Review. She is a former Iowa Supreme Court finalist and a recipient of both the AALS Clyde Ferguson and Derrick Bell, Jr. Awards, the Collegiate Teaching and Marion Huit Awards from the University of Iowa, and the Gertrude Rush Award from the Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys and the Iowa National Bar Association. Other honors include placement on the National Law Journal’s “Minority 40 under 40” list and Lawyers of Color’s inaugural “50 Under 50” List, and election to the American Law Institute (ALI). In the 2017-2018, she served as the William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law at the American Bar Foundation.


Mitra Sharafi Mitra Sharafi is Professor of Law and Legal Studies at the University for Wisconsin–Madison, where she is affiliated with History. She is a legal historian of South Asia, and holds degrees in law (BA Cambridge, BCL Oxford) and history (BA McGill, PhD Princeton). Her first book, Law and Identity in Colonial South Asia: Parsi Legal Culture, 1772-1947 was awarded the LSA’s 2015 Hurst Prize. She is currently working on her second book project, “Fear of the False: Forensic Science in Colonial India” as a Davis Center fellow at Princeton’s History department (fall 2018) and an ACLS Burkhardt fellow ’18. Her research interests include: the history of the professions and expertise, law and religion, law and minorities, legal pluralism, legal consciousness, the history of science and medicine, colonialism, and the history of law books. Sharafi’s research has been recognized by the Institute for Advanced Study, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. She hosts the South Asian Legal History Resources and Stationary Empire websites. She is also on Twitter (@mjsharafi) and posts regularly on the Legal History Blog. At the LSA, Mitra Sharafi is a co-founder and organizer of the South Asia CRN 22 (since 2005), and she organized an IRC (2006-8) that led to the publication of a special forum in the Law and History Review (28:4, 2010). She has been on multiple LSA committees, including the International Prize Committee (for 2014 prizes), the Hurst Book Prize Committee (for the 2015 award), the Program Committee (2016-17 for Mexico City), and the International Affairs Committee (2018-19). As a trustee, Mitra Sharafi would be particularly interested in finding ways to provide greater support for active CRNs and in making the annual conference (given its size and cost) more accessible to graduate students, international scholars, and first-time conference-goers.