Alex M. Johnson Jr.

  • James C. Slaughter Distinguished Professor of Law

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.

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.

Scholarship Profile: Not Your Average Professor (Virginia Journal 2009)


  • J.D.
    University of California at Los Angeles School of Law
  • B.A.
    Claremont Men's College


Understanding Modern Real Estate Transactions, Carolina Academic Press (4 ed. 2018).

Book Chapters

Brown’s Ambiguous Legacy, in Law Touched Our Hearts: A Generation Remembers Brown v. Board of Education , Vanderbilt University Press, 171–175 (2009).
Modern Real Estate: A Constitutional Approach, in Blessings of Liberty: The Constitution and the Practice of Law, ALI-ABA Committee on Continuing Professional Education, 175–197 (1988).

Articles & Reviews

Is It Time for Irrevocable Wills?, 53 University of Louisville Law Review 393–431 (2016).
What the Tea Party Movement Means for Contemporary Race Relations: A Historical and Contextual Analysis, 72 Georgia Journal of Law & Modern Critical Race Perspectives 201–243 (2015).
Including Diversity in U.S. News’ Rankings: One Small Step in the Right Direction, 27 Journal of Civil Rights & Economic Development 167–202 (2013).
Having a Faculty That Everyone Wants..., 36 University of Toledo Law Review 95–102 (2004).
Quality-Assurance and Admission to U.S. Law Schools (with Phillip D. Shelton & Rennard J. Strickland), 43 South Texas Law Review 411–418 (2002).
Defending the Use of Quotas in Affirmative Action: Attacking Racism in the Nineties, 1992 University of Illinois Law Review 1043–1073 (1992).
Scholarly Paradigms: A New Tradition Based on Context and Color, 16 Vermont Law Journal 913–932 (1992).
Adding Another Piece to the Financing Puzzle: The Role of Real Property Secured Debt, 24 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 335–363 (1991).
The New Voice of Color, 100 Yale Law Journal 2007–2063 (1991).
Racial Critiques of Legal Academia: A Reply in Favor of Context, 43 Stanford Law Review 137–165 (1990).
An Appeal for the "Liberal" Use of Law and Economics: The Liberals Fight Back  (reviewing Alan S. Blinder, Heard Heads, Soft Hearts: Tough-Minded Economics for a Just Society) 67 Texas Law Review 659–674 (1989).
The Legality of Testing Student-Athletes for Drugs and the Unique Issue of Consent (with James F. Ritter), 66 Oregon Law Review 895–951 (1987).
Ethical Considerations in Representing Artists, Entertainers and Athletes in Minnesota (with Alan Dorfman & James Ryan), 51 Hennepin Lawyer 50–51 (1981).

Reports & Datasets

A Technical Guide to Academic Assistance Programs, Law School Admission Council (2000).

Op-Eds, Blogs, Shorter Works

Overview of the 1L Curriculum at UVA Law

Featured Scholarship