Joy Milligan

  • 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
“Remembering: The Constitution and Federally Funded Apartheid,” U. Chi. L. Rev. (forthcoming).

“Plessy Preserved: Agencies and the Effective Constitution,” 129 Yale L.J. 924 (2020).

“Subsidizing Segregation,” 104 Va. L. Rev. 847-932 (2018).
“Protecting Disfavored Minorities: Toward Institutional Realism,” 63 UCLA L. Rev. 894-967 (2016).
“The Ph.D. Rises in Elite Legal Academia, 1960-2011: What Does It Mean for Legal Education?” (with Justin McCrary and James Phillips), 65 J. Legal Educ. 543-579 (2016).
“The Dispute Tree and the Legal Forest” (with Catherine Albiston and Lauren Edelman), 10 Ann. Rev. Law & Soc. Sci. 105-131 (2014).
“Religion and Race: On Duality and Entrenchment,” 87 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 393-472 (2012).
“Pluralism in America: Why Judicial Diversity Improves Legal Decisions About Political Morality,” 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1206-1248 (2006).

Current Courses

No courses were found for this instructor.

All Courses

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