Bennett Boskey Professor of Law
Lani Guinier is the Bennett Boskey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She became the first woman of color appointed to a tenured professorship at the Harvard Law School. Before her Harvard appointment, she was a tenured professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she had been on the faculty for ten years. Professor Guinier worked in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice and then headed the voting rights project at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the 1980s. Professor Guinier has published many scholarly articles and books that are accessible to a more general audience, including The Tyranny of the Majority (1994); Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School and Institutional Change (1997) (with co-authors Michelle Fine and Jane Balin); Lift Every Voice: Turning a Civil Rights Setback into a New Vision of Social Justice (1998); The Miner's Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy (2002) (co-authored with Gerald Torres). Professor Lani Guinier has written a new book, The Tyranny of the Meritocracy: Democratizing Higher Education in America (Beacon Press 2015). In her scholarly writings and in op-ed pieces, she has addressed issues of race, gender, and democratic decision-making, and sought new ways of approaching questions like affirmative action while calling for candid public discourse on these topics. Professor Guinier's leadership on these important issues has been recognized with many awards and by ten honorary degrees, including from Smith College, Spelman College, Swarthmore College and the University of the District of Columbia. Her excellence in teaching was honored by the 1994 Harvey Levin Teaching Award from the graduating class at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the 2002 Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching Excellence from Harvard Law School.