Patricia J. Williams, a professor of law at Columbia University, was born in Boston in 1951 and holds a BA from Wellesley College and a JD from Harvard Law School.
She was a fellow in the School of Criticism and Theory at Dartmouth College and has been an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin School Law School and its department of women's studies. Williams also worked as a consumer advocate in the office of the City Attorney in Los Angeles.
A member of the State Bar of California and the Federal Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Williams has served on the advisory council for the Medgar Evers Center for Law and Social Justice of the City University of New York and on the board of governors for the Society of American Law Teachers, among others.
Her publications include Anthony Burns: The Defeat and Triumph of a Fugitive Slave, On Being the Object of Property, The Electronic Transformation of Law and And We Are Not Married: A Journal of Musings on Legal Language and the Ideology of Style. In 1993, Harvard University Press published Williams's The Alchemy of Race & Rights to widespread critical acclaim. She is also author of The Rooster's Egg (Harvard, 1995), Seeing a Color-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race (Reith Lectures, 1997) (Noonday Press, 1998) and, most recently, Open House: On Family Food, Friends, Piano Lessons and The Search for a Room of My Own (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2004.)
Sure, some Americans use their flag in poor taste. But should they be prevented from doing so?
We're not anxious about whether Elena Kagan is gay. We're anxious about whether she's masculine.
Most people who appear phenotypically "black" don't play around when the government asks them to report their race.
"Bio-prospecting" is unreflective--and unregulated.
The cost of failing to see our common fate.
Citizens United raises the questions: why is speech the functional equivalent of money, and why are corporations considered persons?
It is manifestly barbarous that children should be tossed into jail for life.
It's peculiar, the vocabulary that makes a liability out of the Nobel Prize.
When does a society tip from expressive speech into excessive fulmination and then into repression or violence?
What's at stake could very well be nothing less than America's own Weimar moment.