Meera E. Deo

Meera Deo
Associate Professor of Law
Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles;
J.D., University of Michigan Law School;
B.A., University of California, Berkeley, with high honors
Phone: (619) 961-4227

Professor Meera E. Deo, J.D., Ph.D., is an interdisciplinary scholar who utilizes empirical methods to interrogate trends in legal education, institutional diversity, and affirmative action. Professor Deo is currently on research leave to be a Visiting Scholar at UC Irvine School of Law while writing her book, Diversity in Legal Academia, which will be published with Stanford University Press in 2018. She also has held visiting positions at Berkeley Law and UCLA School of Law.

Professor Deo practiced civil rights law with the ACLU National Legal Department in New York City, where she worked on impact litigation involving privacy and cyberspace law.  She was later Staff Attorney for Women’s Health, and Director of the Breast Cancer Legal Project at the California Women’s Law Center, a statewide women’s advocacy nonprofit based in Los Angeles.  The National Science Foundation (NSF), the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship, and numerous University of California grants and awards supported her doctoral dissertation on social capital formation among members of law student organizations.  Professor Deo serves on the Executive Committee for the AALS Section on Law and the Social Sciences and is an appointee to the California Commission on Access to Justice. She is also an empirical research consultant to the South Asian Network (SAN) and the ACLU of Southern California.

Professor Deo’s interdisciplinary and empirical research on institutional diversity has been cited in numerous amicus briefs filed in the U.S. Supreme Court.  Her scholarship draws from original empirical research to investigate the law student and law faculty experience.  She is been collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data for the landmark study Diversity in Legal Academia, which examines how the intersectionality of race and gender affect tenure and promotion, work/life balance, institutional support, and other aspects of the personal and professional lives of American law faculty. She is a regular speaker at national and regional conferences including those organized by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), the American Sociological Association (ASA), and Law & Society. Professor Deo’s scholarship has been published in leading law journals including Fordham Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, Brooklyn Law Review, the Michigan Journal of Race & Law, the Harvard Journal on Racial & Ethnic Justice, and the Journal of Legal Education.

Courses include:

Civil Procedure I & II, Law & Society, and Scholarly Legal Writing

Articles, Book Chapters, And Article-Length Works

Trajectory of a Law Professor, 20 Mich. J. Race & L. 441 (2015), available at

A Better Tenure Battle: Fighting Bias in Teaching Evaluations, 31 Colum. J. Gender & L. 7 (2015)

Faculty Insights on Educational Diversity, 83 Fordham L. Rev. 3115 (2015), available at

The Ugly Truth About Legal Academia, 80 Brook. L. Rev. 943 (2015), available at

Looking Forward to Diversity in Legal Academia, 29 Berkeley J. Gender L. & Just. 352 (2014), available at

Empirically Derived Compelling State Interests in Affirmative Action Jurisprudence, 65 Hastings L.J. 661 (2014), available at

Two Sides of a Coin: Safe Space & Segregation in Race/Ethnic-Specific Law Student Organizations, 42 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 83 (2013), available at

Book Review, The End of the Pipeline. A Journey of Recognition for African Americans Entering the Legal Profession, by Dorothy Evensen and Carla D. Pratt, 62 J. Legal Educ. 640 (2013), available at

Separate, Unequal, and Seeking Support, 28 Harv. J. on Racial & Ethnic Just. 9 (2012) available at

The Social Capital Benefits of Peer Mentoring Relationships in Law School, 38 Ohio N.U. L. Rev. 305 (with Kimberly A. Griffin) (2011) available at

The Promise of Grutter: Diverse Interactions at the University of Michigan Law School, 17 Mich. J. Race & L. 63 (2011) available at

Paint by Number? How the Race & Gender of Law School Faculty Affect the First Year Curriculum, 29 Chicano-Latino L. Rev. 1 (2010) (first author, with Maria Woodruff and Rican Vue) available at

Struggles & Support: Diversity in U.S. Law Schools, 23 Nat’l. Black L.J. 71 (2010) (first author, with Walter R. Allen, A.T. Panter, Charles Daye, and Linda Wightman)

It Matters How and When You Ask: Self-Reported Race/Ethnicity of Incoming Law Students. 15 Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 51 (2009) (with A.T. Panter, Charles Daye, Walter R. Allen, and Linda Wightman)

Missing In Action: "Framing" Race on Prime Time Television, 35 Soc. Just. 145 (2008) (first author, with Christina Chin, Jenny J. Lee, Noriko Milman, and Nancy Wang Yuen)

Identifying Predictors of Law Student Life Satisfaction, 58 J. Legal Educ. 520 (2008) (with Nisha C. Gottfredson, A.T. Panter, Charles E. Daye, Walter T. Allen, and Linda F. Wightman)

India, Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society (2008) (edited by Richard T. Schaefer)

Without a Trace: Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders in Prime Time Television, in Contemporary Asian America: A Multidisciplinary Reader (with Christina Chin, Jenny Lee, Noriko Milman, and Nancy Wang Yuen) (Min Zhou and J.V. Gatewood eds., New York University Press, 2nd ed. 2007)

Ebbs & Flows: The Courts in Racial Context, 8 Rutgers Race & L. Rev. 167 (2007)

Asian Pacific Americans in Prime Time: Still No Action (with Christina Chin, Jenny J. Lee, Noriko Milman, and Nancy Wang Yuen) (Asian American Justice Center 2006)

Asian Pacific Americans in Prime Time: Lights, Camera, and Little Action (with Christina Chin, Jenny J. Lee, Noriko Milman, and Nancy Yuen)( National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium 2005)

Diversity in Legal Academia, South Asian Bar Association, Los Angeles, CA (September 25, 2014)

Trajectory of a Law Professor, Michigan Journal of Race & Law 20th Anniversary Symposium, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, MI (September 19, 2014)

Trajectory of a Law Professor, University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of Law, Baltimore, MD (September 18, 2014)

The Ugly Truth about Legal Academia, New Legal Realism Conference, Irvine, CA (August 30, 2014)

The Ugly Truth about Legal Academia , South Asian Legal Academics Inaugural Workshop, Irvine, CA (August 1, 2014)

Intersectional Bias, O’Melveny & Myers, LLP, Los Angeles, CA (July 21, 2014)

Empirically Derived Compelling State Interests in Affirmative Action Jurisprudence, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT (March 26, 2014)

Racial Isolation & Diversity in Law School, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT (March 26, 2014)

Diversity in Legal Academia , The Case for Diversity and Affirmative Action in the Wake of Fisher and Schuette, University of California, Berkley, School of Law, Berkley, CA (March 3, 2014)

Empirically Derived Compelling State Interests, The Case for Diversity and Affirmative Action in the Wake of Fisher and Schuette, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, Berkeley, CA (March 3, 2014)

The Future of Law School Diversity, AALS Annual Meeting, Presidential Workshop on Tomorrow’s Law Schools, panel on Law Professors of the Future, New York City (January 5, 2014)

Some Hypotheses for an Empirical Analysis of Law Faculty Diversity, Southern California Junior Faculty Workshop, California Western School of Law , Fullerton, CA (May 14, 2013)

Preliminary Findings from the Diversity in Legal Academia Project, Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice Symposium, Berkeley Law, Berkeley (March 8, 2013)

Innovations in Mixed-Method Empirical Research, AALS Annual Meeting, Law & the Social Sciences Panel, New Orleans (January 7, 2013)

Two Sides of a Coin: Safe Space and Segregation in Race/Ethnic-Specific Law Student Organizations , Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV (November 16, 2012)

The Thomas Jefferson School of Law faculty is highly prolific in the field of legal scholarship and our professors are in demand as speakers and panelists at legal events in the U.S. and abroad.

Meerea Deo

Professor Deo Organized Successful SALA Workshop 2015

August 21, 2015

Professor Meera Deo, founder of South Asian Legal Academics (SALA), organized another successful summer workshop for the group. SALA seeks to...

Nicole Heffel ‘13 Opens Boutique Law Firm

October 23, 2014

After deciding to pursue a career in wealth management as a financial consultant, Alumna Nicole Heffel ‘13 reassessed her path after successfully...

professor Deo presents at michigan law school symposium

Professor Deo presents at Michigan Law School Symposium

October 13, 2014

Professor Meera Deo was a featured speaker at the recent University of Michigan Law School Symposium celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the...

South Asian Legal Academics Founder Professor Meera Deo Holds Workshop

September 26, 2014

Over the past year Professor Meera Deo has been working to organize and formalize a new professional organization of law professors, South Asian...

Orange County Alumni Group Get Together

July 16, 2014

On Thursday, July 3, 2014 the Orange County Alumni Group gathered together for their monthly Alumni Mixer. This month’s meeting took place at...

Civil & Human Rights

  • Affirmative Action
  • Race & Law / Race & Higher Education

Civil Procedure & Litigation

Constitutional Law

Education Law

Empirical Research

Gender & The Law

Legal Education

Race and the Law

Sexuality & The Law