Johnson's teaching areas include property, modern real estate transactions, trusts and estates, and critical race theory. He served as the Harrison Foundation Research Professor of Law from 1992-95. Johnson's current research interests include critical race theory, examining the social construction of race and ethnicity and its impact on law and legal issues, and the application of relational contract theories to interests in real property.
Immediately after law school, Johnson spent two years in private practice with Latham & Watkins in Los Angeles. He then taught for two years at the University of Minnesota Law School, before returning to his law firm for another two years. In 1984, Johnson joined the Virginia law faculty. He has been a visiting professor at Stanford University, the University of Texas and Washington University law schools. He has lectured widely on academic standards, critical race theory and the efficacy of the LSAT and has appeared on numerous scholarly panels that address race as it relates to legal education.
Johnson has served as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Law School Admissions Council, the nonprofit corporation owned by ABA-approved law schools that produces and administers the LSAT, as well as the LSAC's Test, Development and Research, and Minority Affairs Standing Committees. Johnson has chaired several standing committees of the Association of American Law Schools, including Curriculum and New Scholarly Papers, and served on several AALS committees, including the Committee on Second Generation Diversity Issues. He has also served on and chaired several ABA law school site inspection teams as well as serving on several ABA standing and ad hoc committees. Johnson is currently the president of the executive committee of the Order of the Coif and is a member of the Academic Advisory Council for the Bill of Rights Institute. Johnson is a member of the American Law Institute and the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.
James C. Slaughter Distinguished Professor of Law
Director, Center for the Study of Race and Law
J.D., University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, 1978
B.A., Claremont Men's College, 1975
Alex M. Johnson, Jr. returned to the Law School in 2007 as the Perre Bowen Professor of Law after serving as dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. Before joining the Minnesota faculty in 2002 he served seven years as the vice provost for faculty recruitment and retention at the University of Virginia and was Mary and Daniel Loughran Professor of Law.
Scholarship Profile: Not Your Average Professor (Virginia Journal 2009)
Understanding Modern Real Estate Transactions (LexisNexis, 3d ed. 2012).
Understanding Modern Real Estate (Lexis/Nexis, 2d ed. 2007).
Understanding Modern Real Estate (Hornbook) (Lexis Publishing, 2001).
A Technical Guide to Academic Assistance Programs, Lead Editor (Law School Admission Council, 2000).
“Including Diversity in U.S. News’ Rankings: One Small Step in the Right Direction,” 27 J. Civ. Rts. & Econ. Dev. 167 (2013).
“Knots in the Pipeline for Prospective Lawyers of Color: The LSAT Is Not the Problem and Affirmative Action Is Not the Answer,” 24 Stan. L. & Pol’y Rev. 379 (2013).
“The Legality of Contracts Governing the Disposition of Embryos: Unenforceable Intra-Family Agreements,” 43 Sw. L. Rev. 191 (2013).
"Preventing a Return Engagement: Eliminating the Mortgage Purchasers' Status as a Holder-in-Due-Course: Properly Aligning Incentives Among the Parties," 37 Pepperdine L. Rev. 529 (2010).
"Brown’s Ambiguous Legacy, in Mildred Wigfall Robinson & Richard J. Bonnie, eds., Law Touched Our Hearts: A Generation Remembers Brown v. Board of Education," 171 (Vanderbilt University Press, 2009).
"The Reemergence of Race as a Biological Category: The Societal Implications--Reaffirmation of Race," 95 Iowa L. Rev. 1547 (2009).
"An Economic Analysis of the Duty to Disclose Information: Lessons Learned from the Caveat Emptor Doctrine," 45 San Diego L. Rev. 79 (2008).
"The Destruction of the Holistic Approach to Admissions: The Pernicious Effect of Rankings," 81 Ind. L. J. 309 (2006).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)
"Having a Faculty Everyone Wants . . ." 36 Toledo L. Rev. 95 (2004).
“Why I Am Not a Lawyer: A Contextual Reply,” 8 Nexus L.J. 13 (2003) (Chapman University Law School).
“The Impact of Diversity on Scholarship: Challenging Traditional Canons,” in Perspectives on Diversity Issues (AALS, 1998).
“Limiting Dead Hand Control of Charitable Trusts: Expanding the Use of the Cy Pres Doctrine,” 21 U. Hawaii L. Rev. 353 (1999) (Symposium Issue).
“The Underrepresentation of Minorities in the Legal Profession: A Critical Race Theorist's Perspective,” 95 Mich. L. Rev. 1005 (1997).
“Destabilizing Racial Classifications Based on Insights Gleaned from Trademark Law,” 84 Cal. L. Rev. 887 (1996).
“How Race and Poverty Intersect to Prevent Integration: Destabilizing Race as a Vehicle to Integrate Neighborhoods,” 143 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1595 (1995).
“Defending the Use of Narrative and Giving Content to the Voice of Color: Rejecting the Imposition of Process Theory in Legal Scholarship,” 79 Iowa L. Rev. 803 (1994).
“Bid Whist, Tonk, and United States v. Fordice: Why Integrationism Fails African-Americans Again,” 81 Cal. L. Rev. 1401 (1993).
“Critiquing the Foreclosure Process: An Economic Approach Based on the Paradigmatic Norms of Bankruptcy,” 79 Va. L. Rev. 959 (1993).
“Scholarly Paradigms: A New Tradition Based on Context and Color,” 16 Vt. L. Rev. 913 (1992).
“Defending the Use of Quotas in Affirmative Action: Attacking Racism in the Nineties,” 1992 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1043.
“Think Like a Lawyer, Work Like a Machine: The Dissonance between Law School and Law Practice,” 64 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1231 (1991).
“The New Voice of Color,” 100 Yale L.J. 2007 (1991).
“Adding Another Piece to the Financing Puzzle: The Role of Real Property Secured Debt,” 24 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 335 (1991).
“Racial Critiques of Legal Academia: A Reply in Favor of Context,” 43 Stan. L. Rev. 137 (1990).
“Revolutionizing Judicial Interpretation of Charitable Trusts: Applying Relational Contracts and Dynamic Interpretation to Cy Pres and America's Cup Litigation," (with Ross D. Taylor), 74 Iowa L. Rev. 545 (1989).
“The Argument for Self-Help Specific Performance: Opportunistic Renegotiation of Player Contracts,” 22 Conn. L. Rev. 61 (1989).
“An Appeal for the 'Liberal' Use of Law and Economics: The Liberals Fight Back,” (reviewing Blinder, Hard Heads, Soft Hearts), 67 Tex. L. Rev. 659 (1989).
“Modern Real Estate: A Constitutional Approach,” in Blessings of Liberty: The Constitution and the Practice of Law 175 (ALI-ABA Committee on Continuing Professional Education, 1988).
“Correctly Interpreting Long-Term Leases Pursuant to Modern Contract Law: Toward a Theory of Relational Leases,” 74 Va. L. Rev. 751 (1988).
“The Legality of Testing Student-Athletes for Drugs and the Unique Issue of Consent” (with James F. Ritter), 66 Or. L. Rev. 895 (1987).
In the Media
- "U.Va. plans Internal Review of Athletics Academic Integrity" (The Washington Post, 01/18/2015)
- "The Jury Is Still Out On Why O.J. Simpson Was Acquitted" (NPR, 06/12/2014)
- "Bob McDonnell Refinances Property, Restructures Loans Amid Scandal" (The Associated Press, 08/07/2013)
- "Don't Blame LSAT for Dearth of Minorities" (The National Law Journal, 08/06/2013)
- "Rights to Coveted Wales Alley Debated in Virginia Supreme Court; Alexandria City Hall, Virtue at Odds with Old Dominion Boat Club" (Alexandria Times, 04/24/2012)
- "Law School Hosts Diversity Events" (Cavalier Daily, 11/14/2011)
- "Consider a Living Will/How Long a Person Wants to be Kept Alive by Technology" (Washington Times, 12/04/2007)