Skip to main content

Antiracist Lawyering: How All Attorneys Can Build A Racial-Justice-Centered Practice

Speaker(s): Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Danielle M. Conway, Elizabeth Kronk Warner
Recorded on: May. 19, 2021
PLI Program #: 324010

Danielle M. Conway is the Dean and Donald J. Farage Professor of Law at Penn State Dickinson Law. A leading expert in procurement law, entrepreneurship, intellectual property law, and licensing intellectual property, Dean Conway joined Dickinson Law after serving for four years as dean of the University of Maine School of Law and 14 years on the faculty of the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, William S. Richardson School of Law, where she was the inaugural Michael J. Marks Distinguished Professor of Business Law.

Prior to her deanships, Dean Conway was a member of the faculties at the Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. She also served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Australia and later as Chair in Law at LaTrobe University, Faculty of Law & Management in Australia. Dean Conway is the author or editor of six books and casebooks as well as numerous book chapters, articles, and essays. Her scholarly agenda and speeches have focused on, among other areas, advocating for public education and for actualizing the rights of marginalized groups, including Indigenous Peoples, minoritized people, and members of rural communities. Dean Conway’s most recent publication focuses on different aspects of building an antiracist law school, legal academy, and legal profession through leadership, vision priorities, and transformational diversity, equity, and inclusion-focused admissions and faculty and staff recruitment and retention. 

Dean Conway is the co-recipient of the inaugural Association of American Law Schools’ (AALS) Impact Award, which honors individuals who have had a significant, positive impact on legal education or the legal profession. Dean Conway received this recognition for her work in establishing the Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project. Launched in June 2020, the project is a webpage for law deans, faculty and staff, and the public that contains resources and information related to addressing racism in law and legal education. Dean Conway also serves as one of three co-chairs of the Select Penn State Presidential Commission on Racism, Bias, and Community Safety.

Dean Conway earned her bachelor’s degree from New York University Stern School of Business, double majoring in finance and international business. She earned her J.D. degree, with honors, from the Howard University School of Law, where she graded on to the Howard Law Journal and served on the leadership board of the National Moot Court Team. She holds dual LL.M. degrees in Government Procurement Law and Environmental Law from the George Washington University Law School. She has been admitted to the bars in the District of Columbia, Hawai‘i, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Dean Conway has been a member of the American Law Institute since 2004. She is an appointed member of the AALS Executive Committee, appointed to the Board of Directors of AccessLex Institute, and an appointed member of both the Pennsylvania Bar Association COVID-19 Task Force and the Joint Task Force on Continuity of Legal Services. In 2016, Dean Conway retired from the U.S. Army in the rank of lieutenant colonel after 27 years of combined active, reserve, and national guard service.

Angela Onwuachi-Willig is Dean and the Ryan Roth Gallo and Ernest J. Gallo Professor of Law at Boston University School of Law (BU Law). A renowned legal scholar and expert in Critical Race Theory, employment discrimination, and family law, she joined BU Law as dean in August 2018. Before then, Dean Onwuachi-Willig served as Chancellor’s Professor of Law at University of California, Berkeley; the Charles and Marion Kierscht Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law; and Acting Professor of Law (tenure-track) at the University of California, Davis School of Law, Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall. As a classroom teacher, she taught employment discrimination, evidence, family law, critical race theory, and torts.

Dean Onwuachi-Willig is the author of According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family (Yale 2013). Her articles have appeared in leading law journals such as the Yale Law Journal, Virginia Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, California Law Review,  Georgetown Law Journal, and Vanderbilt Law Review.

Dean Onwuachi-Willig is the recipient of numerous academic and leadership awards and honors, including the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Clyde Ferguson Award (2015), the AALS Derrick Bell Award (2006), the Gertrude Rush Award (2016) from the Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys and the Iowa Chapter of the National Bar Association, and Law and Society’s John Hope Franklin, Jr., Prize (2018). Along with her co-author Mario Barnes, she is the first faculty member to win both the Ferguson and Bell Awards. Other honors include her selection as a finalist for the Supreme Court of Iowa in 2011; identification by the National Law Journal as one of the “Minority 40 under 40” in 2011 and by Lawyers of Color as one of the “50 Law Professors of Color Under 50” in its inaugural list in 2013; and election to the American Law Institute, American Bar Foundation (ABF), and Iowa Bar Foundation. In the 2017-18 academic year, she served as the William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law at the ABF). In 2019, she was honored as an EXTRAordinary Woman in Boston. Most recently, Dean Onwuachi-Willig and four black women decanal colleagues were selected to be the inaugural recipients of the AALS Impact Award in recognition of the extraordinary work they performed in collating the Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project (2021).

Dean Onwuachi-Willig has also received teaching awards. In 2016, she received the Collegiate Teaching Award at the University of Iowa College of Law, and in 2012, she received the Marion Huit Award, a University of Iowa award given to a faculty member in recognition of outstanding teaching and assistance to students, exceptional research and writing, and dedicated service to the university and the surrounding community.

Dean Onwuachi-Willig serves on the Board for the Law School Admissions Council and Grinnell College; is a Trustee for and Executive Committee member of the Law and Society Association; serves on Senators Warren-Markey Judicial Selection and U.S. Attorney Selection Committees; is a member of the AALS Law Deans Section Executive Committee, the AALS Deans Steering Committee, and the Law Deans Advisory Committee to U.S. News and World Report; and serves on the Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being while chairing the Law School Subcommittee for that group.

Dean Onwuachi-Willig also previously served on the AALS Membership Review Committee and as the Grinnell College Alumni Council president. She served as Chair for the AALS Committee on the Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Teachers and Students for two years, leading the committee as it drafted and developed an official Statement of Good Practices on the Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Teachers. Additionally, she is the founder of the Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Workshop, which has resulted in the production of many books and hundreds of articles and essays by its participants and has assisted dozens of women on the path to tenure.

Dean Onwuachi-Willig graduated from Grinnell College, Phi Beta Kappa, and received her JD from the University of Michigan, where she was a Clarence Darrow Scholar, a Michigan Law Review Note Editor, and an Associate Editor for the founding issue of the Michigan Journal of Race and Law. After law school, she clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Solomon Oliver of the Northern District of Ohio and U.S. Sixth Circuit Judge Karen Nelson Moore. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology and African American Studies from Yale University. She has practiced law as a labor and employment associate at Jones Day in Cleveland, Ohio, and Foley Hoag in Boston, Massachusetts.

Elizabeth Kronk Warner is Dean and Professor of Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. She was formerly Associate Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Kansas School of Law (KU), where she was also the Director of the Tribal Law and Government Center.

Dean Kronk Warner is a nationally recognized expert in the intersection of Environmental and Indian law. She has taught courses in Property, Indian, Environmental and Natural Resources Law, and supervised the KU Tribal Judicial Support Clinic. She has received several teaching excellence awards, co-authored several books on environmental issues and Native Americans, and has over 40 articles and book chapters to her credit. Dean Kronk Warner, a citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, served as an appellate judge for the tribe and as a district judge for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe.

Dean Kronk Warner previously was an active member of the Federal Bar Association, serving on its national Board of Directors. In 2014, she received the Federal Bar Association President’s Award for leadership and extraordinary service, commitment, and guidance to the Federal Bar Association and its members. She is currently active in the American Bar Association, where she is co-chaired of the Native American Resources Committee. She holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan, a B.S. from Cornell University, and also studied at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.