Joy Milligan

  • Martha Lubin Karsh and Bruce A. Karsh Bicentennial Professor of Law
Joy Milligan studies the intersection of law and inequality, with a particular focus on race-based economic inequality. Her scholarship is interdisciplinary, drawing on social science theory and methods, and has been published in the Yale Law Journal, Virginia Law Review, UCLA Law Review, NYU Law Review, Annual Review of Law & Social Science, and the Journal of Legal Education. Her current work examines the legal and political struggles over federal administrators’ long-term role in extending racial segregation.
Before entering academia, Milligan practiced civil rights law at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc., where she was a Skadden Fellow, and clerked for Judge A. Wallace Tashima of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Milligan is a member of the state bars of California and New York. She graduated magna cum laude from New York University Law School, where she was a Furman Scholar and Fellow, and an articles editor of the NYU Law Review. She earned a Ph.D. in jurisprudence and social policy from the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on race, politics and legal history. She also holds an M.P.A. from Princeton University and an A.B. in social studies, magna cum laude, from Harvard-Radcliffe. Before attending law school, Milligan spent several years founding a nonprofit bicycle recycling project in the northwest Dominican Republic.


  • Ph.D.
    University of California at Berkeley
  • J.D.
    New York University School of Law
  • M.P.A.
    Princeton University
  • A.B.
    Harvard-Radcliffe College

Works in Progress

Articles & Reviews

Remembering: The Constitution and Federally Funded Apartheid, 89 University of Chicago Law Review 65–155 (2022).
Plessy Preserved: Agencies and the Effective Constitution, 129 Yale Law Journal 924–1019 (2020).
Subsidizing Segregation, 104 Virginia Law Review 847–932 (2018).
The Ph.D. Rises in American Law Schools, 1960-2011: What Does It Mean for Legal Education? (with Justin McCrary & James Phillips), 65 Journal of Legal Education 543–579 (2016).
The Dispute Tree and the Legal Forest (with Catherine R. Albiston & Lauren B. Edelman), 10 Annual Review of Law and Social Science 105–131 (2014).
Religion and Race: On Duality and Entrenchment, 87 New York University Law Review 393–472 (2012).

Current Courses

All Courses

Civil Rights & Anti-Discrimination Law
Civil Procedure
Critical Theories of Law

Featured Scholarship