What drew you to the law?
My godfather was the only lawyer I knew growing up. He was president of the Legal Aid Society of New York. His example, as well as the transformative role of law in the civil rights movement, drew me to law as an occupation that provides the power and influence necessary to improve lives of the least fortunate. As a law student and lawyer, I discovered that transactional law, rather than litigation, can also be used for the same ends.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I enjoy turning on a light bulb in students’ heads. I enjoy helping students see interdisciplinary connections between the law and other areas, as well as identify their passions for areas of the law that they never thought would interest them. I also enjoy helping students grow professionally and gain the confidence necessary to be successful in whatever area they ultimately pursue.
What do you hope students gain from your courses?
I hope to train not just competent legal technicians, but thoughtful and ethical lawyers who are prepared to confront the myriad legal and interdisciplinary challenges that the future may bring. I hope students learn, not only the legal rules, but whether those rules are in fact advancing the goals the rules were designed to advance, and if not, what the new rules should be.
What did you do prior to entering academia?
Before law school, I worked on Wall Street, received a post-graduate Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, and served as a fundraiser for public interest legal non-profits. After law school, I received offers from the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, LLP, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing Section. I ultimately pursued an Equal Justice Works Law Fellowship in Chicago, and then I worked in private practice in Chicago doing primarily housing and community development law, entrepreneurship law and commercial real estate deals.
What are you passionate about outside the law?
I wish there were more time outside of work. But when I get the chance, I love to take dance classes at the gym, sing, go out to dinner and do anything with my daughter and husband. I am also glad that I met my goal of becoming a certified Zumba instructor.
What are your research interests?
At my most ambitious moments, I strive to become a public intellectual. I hope that my research in housing law, community development law and social entrepreneurship law will make a difference for people in their daily lives. I hope to identify how law can help communities develop in a more sustainable and equitable way, rather than in a manner that exacerbates existing inequalities.