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Patricia J. Williams: Wikis


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Patricia Williams

Patricia J. Williams (born 1951) is a prominent law critic and a proponent of critical race theory, an offshoot of 1960s social movements that emphasizes race as a fundamental determinant of the American legal system.

Williams received her bachelor's degree from Wellesley College in 1972, and her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1975. 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 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.

Williams is a member of the State Bar of California and the Bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Williams has served on the advisory council for the Medgar Evers College 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.

She was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, which she held from June 2000 until June 2005.

Williams is currently the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, and writes a column for The Nation magazine titled "Diary of a Mad Law Professor." Her column for The Nation has recently changed from bi-weekly to monthly. The Mad-Law-Professor (SM) is also the name of a super hero that she created.


  • The Alchemy of Race and Rights: A Diary of a Law Professor (1991) (ISBN 0-674-01470-7)
  • The Rooster's Egg (1995) (ISBN 0-674-77942-8)
  • Seeing a Color-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race (1997) (ISBN 0-374-52533-1)
  • Open House: Of Family, Friends, Food, Piano Lessons, and the Search for a Room of My Own (2004) (ISBN 0-374-11407-2)


  • Nishikawa, Kinohi. "Patricia J. Williams." The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature. Ed. Hans Ostrom and J. David Macey, Jr. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005. 1747-49.

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