Kim Forde-Mazrui

  • Mortimer M. Caplin Professor of Law
  • Director, Center for the Study of Race and Law

Kim Forde-Mazrui joined the law faculty of the University of Virginia in 1996, and was promoted to full professor in 2001. He teaches Constitutional Law, Employment Discrimination, Criminal Law, and Race and Law. His scholarship focuses on equal protection, especially involving race and sexual orientation. His publications have considered what role race should play in placing children for adoption; whether and how to select racially and other demographically diverse juries; whether affirmative action policies that employ race-neutral means are constitutional; whether America is morally obligated to remedy past discrimination; and whether racial profiling and other discriminatory practices by law enforcement are adequately deterred by current constitutional doctrines. His scholarship has also examined the parallels between historical arguments against interracial relationships and contemporary arguments against same-sex relationships, as well as the role of tradition as a justification for banning same-sex marriage. His articles have been published in several prestigious law journals, including the University of Chicago Law Review, the California Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, and the Georgetown Law Journal. The hallmark of Forde-Mazrui's approach is to take seriously the conflicting perspectives on controversial issues, and to offer constructive proposals to move society beyond current, often intractable, debates.

Forde-Mazrui earned his B.A. in philosophy, summa cum laude, from the University of Michigan in 1990, and his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School in 1993. During law school, the Michigan Law Review selected him and subsequently promoted him to notes editor. The law school's clinical faculty awarded him the Carl Gussin Memorial Prize for excellence in trial advocacy, and he won both the Law School and Regional ABA Client Counseling Competitions. He also volunteered as a student-attorney with the Family Law Project, an organization providing legal services to battered women. At graduation, the faculty elected Forde-Mazrui to the Order of the Coif and granted him the law school's highest honor, the Henry M. Bates Memorial Scholarship, "awarded to outstanding seniors in the Law School, account being taken of scholarship in both undergraduate and legal studies, personality, character, extracurricular interests, and promise of a distinguished career."

After law school, Forde-Mazrui served a year as judicial clerk to Judge Cornelia G. Kennedy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He then practiced two years at Sidley & Austin in Washington, D.C. He is admitted to practice law in Michigan, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

At Virginia, Forde-Mazrui is the Mortimer M. Caplin Professor of Law and was previously the Barron F. Black Research Professor and the Justice Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Research Professor of Law. In 2003, he was appointed the inaugural director of the Center for the Study of Race and Law, a position he served in for seven years. The Black Law Students Association has twice awarded him the Service to BLSA Award. UVA’s Office of Equal Opportunity Programs named him an "EOP Champion" in 2009, and UVA selected him as the winner of the 2013 John T. Casteen III Diversity-Equity-Inclusion Leadership Award.

Scholarship Profile: Examining Race and Law (Virginia Journal 2005)

Education

  • J.D.
    The University of Michigan Law School
    1993
  • A.B.
    University of Michigan
    1990

“The Canary-Blind Constitution: Must Government Ignore Racial Inequality?,” 79:3 Law & Contemp. Probs. 53 (2016).

“Does Racial Diversity Promote Cultural Diversity?: The Missing Question in Fisher v. University of Texas,” 17 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 987 (2013).
HeinOnline (PDF)

“Tradition and Equal Protection,” The Legal Workshop, June 3, 2011.
Link

"Tradition as Justification: The Case of Opposite-Sex Marriage," 78 U. Chi. L. Rev. 281 (2011).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

“The Transition to Law School: Yes, You Can,” in Carrie G. Basas et al., eds., Lawyers, Lead On: Lawyers with Disabilities Share Their Insights 13 (American Bar Association, 2011).

"Alternative Action," 13 MICH. J. RACE & L. 461, 499-504 (2008) (contribution to symposium “From Proposition 209 to Proposal 2: Examining the Effects of Anti-Affirmative Action Voter Initiatives”).

"Ruling Out the Rule of Law," 60 Vand. L. Rev. 1497 (2007)
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

"Learning Law Through the Lens of Race," 21 J.L. & Pol. 1 (2005).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

"Taking Conservatives Seriously: A Moral Justification for Affirmative Action and Reparations," 92 Cal. L. Rev. 683 (2004).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

"Live and Let Love: Self-Determination in Matters of Intimacy and Identity," 101 Mich. L. Rev. 2185 (2003) (Reviewing Randall Kennedy, Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity and Adoption (2003)). 
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

"Will Affirmative Action Survive? Grutter v. Bollinger Asks the Supreme Court," Vol. XXV, No. 24, p.52 (June 17, 2002) (op-ed).

"The Constitutional Implications of Race-Neutral Affirmative Action," 88 Geo. L.J. 2331 (2000).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

"Jural Districting: Selecting Impartial Juries Through Community Representation," 52Vand. L. Rev. 353 (1999).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

"Black Identity and Child Placement: The Best Interests of Black and Biracial Children," 92Mich. L. Rev. 925 (1994).
SSRN | HeinOnline (PDF)

Current Courses

All Courses

Advanced Race and Law Projects
Constitutional Law
Criminal Adjudication
Criminal Law
Employment Discrimination
Race and the Law (seminar)
Seminar in Ethical Values
What Lawyers Can Learn From the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

IN THE NEWS

10/06/2014
09/03/2014
08/15/2014
05/18/2012
04/16/2012
05/06/2008
09/19/2005
11/12/2004
01/31/2004
01/31/2004
04/18/2003
03/30/2003
12/01/2002
06/21/2002
Key players in the U.S. Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas (2016) discuss its implications for the future of affir