A broad and longstanding commitment
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are an integral part of the Maurer School of Law’s mission as one of the nation’s best public law schools with the goal of graduating the next generation of leaders for an evolving global legal profession. In collaboration with the university’s Office of the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, the Maurer School of Law is committed to fostering a campus culture where all members of our community feel part of a supportive learning environment.
Our commitment to diversity in legal education and the legal profession is long-standing. The best legal education is one where students are exposed and learn from a wide variety of perspectives, interacting with classmates, faculty, and staff with a range of backgrounds and life experiences. Many of our faculty are leaders in their fields, who are engaged in important research in the areas of justice and equality. Here are just a few examples:
Our faculty have deep expertise on issues of equity and justice, including race and the law and are nationally known for their research and writing, including:
- Prof. Nicholas Almendares' research focuses on accountability and democracy across areas of law, such as class actions, separation of powers, collective responsibility, and campaign financing. His work takes an interdisciplinary approach, often drawing upon economics, social science, and philosophy.
- Prof. Valena Beety's experiences as a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., and as an innocence litigator in Mississippi and West Virginia, shape her research and writing on wrongful convictions, forensic evidence, prosecution, and incarceration.
- Professor Emeritus Kevin Brown was one of the original participants and founders of both the Critical Race Theory Workshop and the People of Color Conference, and from 2004 to 2008 directed the IU Hudson & Holland Scholars Program.
- Lecturer Cindy Cho was a federal prosecutor for over a decade, first as a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch, and then as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. She joined Indiana Law's Legal Research and Writing faculty in 2023.
- Prof. Luis Fuentes-Rohwer is the chair of the Indiana University Latino Faculty and Staff Council and has served as faculty advisor to UndocuHoosier Alliance, the Lambda Sigma Upsilon Latino Fraternity, the BLSA prelaw group, and the Latino Male Initiative.
- Prof. Aneil Kovvali's research focuses on corporate law and governance. Prior to joining the Maurer School of Law faculty, Professor Kovvali was a Harry A. Bigelow Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School. He previously worked as a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. He clerked with the Honorable Christopher F. Droney for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Prof. Jayanth Krishnan is a socio-legal researcher who focuses on the legal profession, immigration, law and globalization, access to justice, and legal education. Much of his work has examined how these areas intersect in the U.S. and in India, but he has also written on the ways these issues operate in places such as Anglophonic Africa, Brazil, the Middle East, and other parts of Asia.
- Prof. Asaf Lubin's research centers around the intersection of law, technology, and international security. His scholarship explores the complex legal challenges and intricate dynamics produced by technological advancements in the areas of national security and international law.
- Prof. João Marinotti is a scholar of property and private law theory focusing especially on how interpersonal norms serve as societal baselines when regulating emerging technologies. He is is deeply invested in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). He is the Faculty Advisor to OUTLaw, Maurer’s LGBTQIA+ student organization and a faculty mentor for Latino/a/x students. His administrative roles in the Law School have also focused on DEI; Professor Marinotti has routinely served on the school’s Diversity & Inclusion Faculty Committee.
- Dean Christiana Ochoa's research seeks to understand how economic activity impacts human and ecological well-being. Her theoretical and empirical research relies on international and comparative law, particularly in the fields of Business & Human Rights, Law & Development, International Finance, and Foreign Direct Investment.
- Prof. Jenn Oliva's research and teaching interests include health law and policy, privacy law, evidence, torts, and complex litigation.
- Prof. Victor Quintanilla is the principal investigator for Mindsets in Legal Education, which seeks to enhance the diversity of students and their performance throughout the pipeline of legal education.
- Prof. Steve Sanders has done significant work in the area of gay marriage and LGBTQ+ rights.
- Prof. Ryan Scott teaches and writes on criminal law and procedure, federal courts and jurisdiction, and the separation of powers. Professor Scott's research examines structural and procedural interactions between the judicial branch and other branches of government, particularly in the criminal context.
- Prof. India Thusi, who is also a senior scientist at the Kinsey Institute, examines racial and sexual hierarchies as they relate to policing, race, and gender.
Read more about our faculty’s important research and scholarship at our research page.
Our research centers do critical work focused on issues of law, equality, and minority rights. The Center for Law, Society & Culture hosts our Access to Justice service-learning program and the Bradley Fellows in Criminal Law and Procedure. The Center for Constitutional Democracy does important constitutional design work in post-conflict societies, advancing women’s rights and minority rights in constitutional structures. The Stewart Center on the Global Legal Profession does significant work on the changing legal profession, with a particular focus on the Global South. Read more about our research centers here.
In 2021 the university earned the 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from Insight into Diversity magazine, the largest, oldest, and most respected national diversity and inclusion magazine in higher education. The Law School’s faculty have also been recognized for their efforts. In 2021, Professor Kevin Brown was an inaugural recipient of the university’s Inclusive Excellence Award. In 2018, Professor Luis Fuentes-Rowher was recognized with the Class of 1950 Herman B. Wells Endowed Professorship to recognize his “deep concern for the well-being of students and devotion to diversity, inclusion, and academic excellence.” Previously, in 2017, Professor Christiana Ochoa—now the Law School’s first dean of color—was also named Herman B Wells Professor for her exceptional contributions.
Our commitment to diversity goes far beyond faculty research and service. Our clinics, practica, pro bono projects, and public service programs are part of a comprehensive curriculum, where topics related to equity and inclusion are advanced. Each year, students in programs like our Community Legal Services Clinic, our Incarcerated Individuals Legal Assistance Program, our Protective Order Project, our Habeas Litigation Practicum, and students working with local public interest organizations, such as Indiana Legal Services, help advance equity and justice goals.
The Law School's students also play an integral role in that ensuring our community is welcoming to all. The Student Bar Association each year sponsors a range of programs in collaboration with the Leonard D. Fromm Office for Student Affairs. Many of our student efforts have been recognized beyond the Law School. Most recently, in 2021, our Black Law Students Association (BLSA) was recognized with the Midwest Chapter of the Year Award. Also in 2021, our Latinx Law Student Association (LLSA) was awarded the National Chapter of the Year Award at the National Latinx Law Student Association (NLLSA) Conference. In 2020, LLSA received the 2020 IU Latino Faculty and Staff Council Organization Award for their contributions. Our Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, Jewish Law Students Association, OutLaw, Women’s Law Caucus, Feminist Law Forum, Christian Legal Society, the Federalist Society, the American Constitution Society, the Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality, and a variety of other student organizations play a key role in building a supportive and welcoming community.
A culture of inclusion makes better lawyers and future leaders, who are capable of working well in a diverse and globalizing profession. Our acclaimed first-year Legal Profession course has segments devoted to cultural competency and issues of inclusion. During our first-year orientation, students are invited to a keynote address, usually from a local judge, on the topic of civility and professionalism. Students also take a professionalism oath, committing themselves to treating all their classmates with civility and respect. Each year, awards are given at orientation and as part of commencement ceremonies to students who have done the most to foster and support our inclusive and welcoming community.
Our commitment to diversity is broad. In addition to our JD program, the law school hosts one of the longest running foreign-law programs. Each year, students from 15-25 countries are hosted in graduate degree and exchange programs. You can read more about our these programs at our international programs web pages.