Michele Bratcher Goodwin

  • Chancellor’s Professor, University of California, Irvine

Michele Bratcher Goodwin is a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Irvine and founding director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy. Goodwin is one of the nation’s leading experts on health law, regulation and policy. Her scholarship focuses on ethics, markets, access and privacy.

Goodwin’s scholarship is hailed as “exceptional” in the New England Journal of Medicine. She has been featured in Politico, Salon.com, Forbes, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times, NPR and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Trained in sociology and anthropology, she has conducted field research in Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States. A prolific author, her scholarship is published or forthcoming in The Yale Law Journal, Harvard Law Review, Cornell Law Review, NYU Law Review, California Law Review, The Georgetown Law Journal, and Northwestern Law Review, among others. Goodwin’s publications include five books and over 80 articles, essays and book chapters as well as numerous commentaries. She is credited with forging new ways of thinking in organ transplant policy and assisted reproductive technologies.

At the forefront of national and international health policy discourse, Goodwin was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Issues in Organ Donor Intervention Research. She was appointed an observer by the United States National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (for the revision of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act). She has advised or given testimony before state and federal policymakers. As a thought leader in academia, she has chaired several sections of the Association of American Law Schools, served as a trustee of the United States Law and Society Association, and was elected secretary general of the International Academy of Law & Mental Health.

Goodwin has long recognized the transformative power and value of education and access. Following earning her juris doctorate, she moved south and guided one of the largest southern school districts in the United States through desegregation, equity and inclusion efforts across 52 K-12 schools and more than 35,000 students.

A nationally recognized advocate for civil liberties and civil rights, Goodwin serves on the executive committee and national board of the American Civil Liberties Union and is an elected member of the American Law Institute. She is also a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and chairs the board of Progressive Health Partnership, which provides maternal and child healthcare services in Uganda. Goodwin has won national awards for excellence in scholarship, outstanding teaching and committed community service. Gov. Paul Patton of Kentucky commissioned her as a colonel, the state’s highest title of honor. In 2018 she was bestowed the Sandra Day O’Connor Legacy Award by the Women’s Journey Foundation. That same year, Goodwin was named teacher of the year by the Thurgood Marshall Bar Association. She is a highly sought after voice on civil liberties, civil rights, reproductive rights and justice, and cultural politics. Prior to teaching law, she was a Gilder-Lehrman Post-Doctoral Fellow at Yale University.

Previously, she was the Everett Fraser Professor at the University of Minnesota and a visiting professor at the University of Chicago.

Full Bio and Publications


  • LL.M.
    University of Wisconsin
  • J.D.
    Boston College Law School
  • B.A.
    University of Wisconsin

Current Courses

No courses were found for this instructor.


Faculty in the News