Three Black Legal Scholars Are Joining the Faculty at Boston College Law School

Two scholars in property and community development law reform and a clinical professor specializing in criminal justice will be joining the Boston College Law faculty next fall. Thomas W. Mitchell and Lisa T. Alexander come to Boston College Law from Texas A&M University School of Law, where they co-founded and co-direct the Program in Real Estate and Community Development Law. Jenna Cobb comes to Boston College Law from the Special Litigation Division of the Public Defender Service.

Professor Mitchell will be the second holder of the Robert F. Drinan, SJ, Chair. In 2020, he was named a MacArthur Fellow (commonly known as the “Genius Grant”) in recognition of his work “reforming long-standing legal doctrines that deprive Black and other disadvantaged American families of their property and real estate wealth.” Professor Mitchell is a graduate of Amherst College in Massachusetts. He earned a juris doctorate from Howard University and a master’s degree in law from the University of Wisconsin.

Professor Alexander’s work focuses on the centrality of law in making housing markets both more efficient and more equitable. She has done extensive scholarship in legal and extra-legal rights to property, housing, and urban space. Before joining the faculty at Texas A&M, Alexander was a professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Law from 2006 to 2017 and held a joint appointment as a professor in the department of landscape architecture and urban planning. Professor Alexander is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. She earned a juris doctorate from Columbia University School of Law.

Cobb will be a clinical assistant professor at the law school. As a staff attorney in the Special Litigation Division of the Public Defender Service, she litigated complex and recurring criminal justice issues, seeking to challenge unjust practices in the criminal justice system. Previously, she served as a law clerk for Judge Denise Page Hood in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Since 2015, Cobb has been an adjunct professor at the University of the District of Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law. Cobb holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Southern California. She earned a master of divinity degree at Yale Divinity School and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School, where she served as assistant managing editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.


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