Who We Are:
Gender and Law Faculty and Staff

WCL staff and faculty members have a wealth of knowledge and experience in gender and law. Many faculty members and programs employ upper-level students as research assistants. Also, seminars taught by faculty members who research and write in gender and law topics are excellent venues for writing papers that fulfill the upper-level writing requirement. The faculty and staff members listed below are only a few of the key members of the WCL gender and law community.


Laurie Ball Cooper:

Laurie Ball Cooper is an adjunct professor teaching Gender, Cultural Difference, and International Human Rights. Ms. Ball Cooper is a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, where she represents clients in landlord-tenant matters in D.C. Superior Court and litigates housing law claims before administrative bodies, such as the D.C. Housing Authority and the Office of Administrative Hearings. Previously, Ms. Ball Cooper served as a Skadden Fellow at the Tahirih Justice Center in Falls Church, Virginia, where she represented survivors of gender-based violence in immigration matters. She has also served as a consultant on issues related to genderbased violence for the Nike Foundation and the International Rescue Committee. She recently co-authored, with Betsy Levy Paluck and Erin K. Fletcher, a chapter on reducing gender-based violence in THE SAGE HANDBOOK ON GENDER AND PSYCHOLOGY (2013). Ms. Ball Cooper clerked for the Hon. M. Margaret McKeown on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and graduated with dual degrees from the Yale Law School and the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs at Princeton University. She completed her undergraduate degree at Duke University, and has completed field work related to community development and community recovery from political violence and human.

Susan Carle:

Susan Carle has a has a particular interest in the history and sociology of gender, race, class and socio-economic status in the legal profession. She teaches Constitutional Law, Employment Discrimination and Legal Ethics. She has published in the areas of sex harassment law and early female public interest lawyers. Professor Carle recently published Defining the Struggle: National Racial Justice Organizing, 1880-1915 (Oxford U. Press 2013).

Janie Chuang:

Janie Chuang teaches courses in international law, international commercial arbitration, and labor migration. In her scholarship, Professor Chuang specializes in issues relating to global labor migration, specifically, human trafficking. Professor Chuang has served as the U.S. Member of the International Law Association’s Feminism and International Law Committee, a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law, and as co-chair of the Society’s Women in International Law Interest Group. Her recent publications include:  The U.S. Au Pair Program: Labor Exploitation and the Myth of Cultural Exchange, 36 HARV. J. L. & GENDER ___ (forthcoming June 2013); The Use of Indicators to Measure Government Responses to Human Trafficking, in INDICATORS AS A TECHNOLOGY OF GLOBAL GOVERNANCE (with Anne Gallagher) (Benedict Kingsbury, Kevin Davis & Sally Engle Merry, eds., 2012); Article 6, in COMMENTARY ON THE CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN (Christine Chinkin, Marsha Freeman & Beate Rudolf, eds., 2011); Rescuing Trafficking from Ideological Capture: Prostitution Reform and Anti-Trafficking Law and Policy, 158 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1655 (2010); and Achieving Accountability for Migrant Domestic Worker Abuse, 88 N.C. L. Rev. 1627 (2010).

Llezlie Green Coleman:

Llezlie Green Coleman teaches in the General Practice Clinic and non-clinical courses in Advanced Civil Procedure and Comparative Anti-Discrimination Law. Her primary teaching interests are in clinical education, complex litigation, and civil and human rights, and her scholarship interests lie at the intersection of employment and immigration law and the intersection of race and gender in low-wage workers’ rights. Professor Coleman’s most recent articles include: Procedural Hurdles and Thwarted Efficiency: Immigration Relief in Wage and Hour Collective Actions to Protect Workers’ Substantive Rights forthcoming in the Harvard Latino Law Review; and Gender Hate Propaganda and Sexual Violence in the Rwandan Genocide: An Argument for Intersectionality in International Law in the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. Prior to joining the faculty, she was an associate at Cohen, Milstein, Sellers and Toll, PLLC, where she represented plaintiffs in class action civil rights and employment cases, including nationwide class actions alleging gender discrimination.

Kate Sablosky Elengold:

Kate Sablosky Elengold is a Practitioner-in-Residence with the Women and the Law Clinic. Prior to coming to WCL, she was a trial attorney at the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. At the DOJ, Kate primarily litigated cases under the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Housing and Community Development Act. Prior to her work at the DOJ, Kate clerked in the Northern District of Illinois for the Honorable James B. Moran. Kate is interested in issues arising at the intersection of race, gender and poverty. She intends to pursue scholarship assessing and reassessing the ways in which anti-discrimination laws define and courts analyze protected classes. Kate graduated from the University of Michigan and New York University School of Law.

Christine Haight Farley:

Christine Haight Farley teaches courses in Intellectual Property Law, Trademark Law, International and Comparative Trademark Law, and Law and the Visual Arts. In addition, she has served as Co-Director of the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property. Professor Farley's scholarly work is in the areas of on intellectual property, international law, and art law. Her current projects study the intersection of art and IP; and the unstable basis of rights in the development of trademark law. Professor Farley collaborates with the Women and the Law Program to develop the annual “IP/ Gender” symposium.

Sharra E. Greer:

Sharra E. Greer works as the first ever policy director at the Children's Law Center.  She also developed the policy department at Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN). In addition to creating and supervising that policy department, she supervised the group’s successful legal services and impact litigation efforts. Sharra began her legal services work while at Rutgers Law School, when she worked at Camden Regional Legal Services. After law school, Ms. Greer was an associate with the firm of Weissman & Mintz, specializing in plaintiffs’ side employment discrimination and labor law. She left Weissman & Mintz to serve as a staff attorney with the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP). Recently, she helped design and create Lawyers Serving Warriors, a program which provides pro bono legal services for returning veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dean Claudio Grossman:

Claudio Grossman is the Dean of Washington College of Law. Dean Grossman served as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights' (IACHR) first Special Rapporteur on Women's Rights (1996-2000) and authored the IACHR's first report on women's rights. He has also worked on cases involving gender issues, including Maria Eugenia Morales de Sierra (Guatemala), at the IACHR.

Heather Hughes:

Heather Hughes teaches in the areas of commercial law and property. Her research focuses on commercial law, financial transactions, and private law theory. Before joining the faculty at WCL, Professor Hughes practiced in the business department at Morrison & Foerster, LLP in San Francisco, and the commercial transactions group at a small, private firm in Denver. She has published several articles on gender and law, including: Contradictions, Open Secrets, and Feminist Faith in Enlightenment, in the Hastings Women’s Law Journal (2002) and Same-Sex Marriage and Simulacra: Exploring Conceptions of Equality in the Harvard Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law Review (1998).

Photograph of Professor Camellia Jacobs

Camellia Jacobs:

Camellia Jacobs is an adjunct professor teaching family law. She is a Mediator, Litigator, and Collaborative Law Practitioner, with experience resolving a variety of domestic relations issues. She founded Jacobs Mediation LLC, a mediation practice in Maryland dedicated to helping families navigate transition and conflict respectfully and efficiently. She also serves as Of Counsel at Zavos Juncker
Law Group PLLC, and as a family mediator for the Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division of the District of Columbia Superior Court and is a designated mediator for the Montgomery County Circuit Court in Maryland. Ms. Jacobs began her career as a civil trial lawyer, litigating civil rights and negligence cases in the trial courts of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. She has argued before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland on family law related issues. Ms. Jacobs is a graduate of Tulane University and Washington College of Law.

Photograph of Professor Peter Jaszi

Peter Jaszi:

Peter Jaszi teaches domestic and international copyright law, as well as law and literature. He also directs the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic and helped to establish the Program on Intellectual Property and Information Justice. Since 2005, Professor Jaszi has been working with Professor Patricia Aufderheide of the American University’s Center for Social Media on projects designed to promote the understanding of fair use by documentary filmmakers and other creators. In 2006-07, he led an interdisciplinary research team, funded by the Ford Foundation, that investigated the connections between intellectual law and the traditional arts in Indonesia. He currently serves on the board of ITVS, an important funder of documentary film projects. Professor Jaszi collaborates with the Women and the Law Program to develop an annual symposium entitled “IP/ Gender: Mapping the Connections” that examines the intersection between intellectual property law and gender.

Billie Jo Kaufman:

Billie Jo Kaufman is the Associate Dean for Library Information Resources and teaches and specializes in: legal education; advanced legal research; cyberlaw; criminal procedure; legal research and writing, and law librarianship. In addition, she is a member of the AALS Women & the Law Section and a Board Member for the Friends of the Law Library of Congress. Professor Kaufman also services as Treasurer for the China-US Legal Information Forum.

Daniela Kraiem:

Daniela Kraiem is the Associate Director of the Women and the Law Program and a Practitioner-in-Residence at WCL. Daniela collaborates with the students, faculty and staff to integrate gender into all aspects of legal education. When she is not teaching courses in gender and domestic policy, gender and international and comparative law and advanced legal writing, she fundraises for and coordinates
grant-funded projects that connect the WCL community with the legal needs and concerns of women and LGBTI persons. These currently include the Student Debt and Education Justice Project, a new effort to address the legal and policy aspects of student debt, the Gender Jurisprudence Collections Project, which focuses on the prosecution of gender-based violence in conflict, and the Gender, Health and Justice Project, which promotes the use of human rights instruments and domestic law to improve the health of women and LGBTI persons. She supports WCL’s comprehensive gender and law curriculum, which includes twenty courses per year, as well as LLM specializations in “Gender and Law.” She works with students to plan substantive and career development events that encourage them to pursue activities and employment focused on gender justice. Prior to joining WCL, Daniela represented labor unions and workers as an associate at McCarthy, Johnson and Miller in San Francisco. As a staff attorney at the Child Care Law Center, she specialized in early childhood education workforce development, supporting small child care businesses, and increasing the availability of affordable, high quality child care for all children. Her legal research projects span student debt, long-term care, gender and health, and child care. She blogs about student debt at studendebtjustice.org.

Amy K. Matsui:

Amy K Matsui is Senior Counsel and Director of Women and the Courts at the National Women’s Law Center.  She works on economic issues affecting low- and moderate-income women and families, with special emphasis on federal and state tax policy and retirement security.  Her work includes analysis of federal and state tax credits for working families and retirement savings policies, federal advocacy, and coordinating the Center’s tax credits outreach campaign. She also directs the Center's advocacy efforts around federal judicial nominations and diversity in the federal judiciary. Ms. Matsui has been with the Center since July 2002. Prior to working at the Center, Ms. Matsui practiced commercial law in the private sector.  She clerked for the Honorable Carolyn Dineen King, then-Chief Judge of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in 2000.  She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and Stanford Law School. 

Fernanda Nicola:

Fernanda Nicola is an expert in European, Comparative Law and private law theory. Her teaching and research interests are in the area of European Union Law, Tort Law and Comparative Family Law. She received her PhD from Trento University (Italy) and her SJD degree from Harvard Law School where she was the recipient of the Mancini Prize in European Law, and of the Justice Welfare and Economics fellowship at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. She recently published Family Law Exceptionalism in Comparative Lawin the American Journal of Comparative Law, Vol. 58, p. 777, 2010 and Intimate Liability: Emotional Harm, Family Law, and Stereotyped Narratives in Interspousal Torts in William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law (2013).

Leslye Orloff:

Leslye Orloff is an Adjunct Professor and the Director of the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP) at WCL which advocates for laws, policies and practices that enhance legal options for immigrant women and immigrant victims domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. She founded and directed Clinica Legal Latina at Ayuda (1985-1999), the Immigrant Women Program at Legal Momentum (1999-2011) and the National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women (1992-2011). In her capacity as a co-founder and co-chair of the National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women, Leslye was involved in drafting the Protection for Immigrant Victims of Violence Against Women of Violence Against Women Act in 1994 and again in 2000, 2005 and 2013 and in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and 2008, legal services access for battered immigrants in 1997 and 2005 and welfare access for battered immigrants in 1996. She teaches a course on Immigrant Women, Law and Policy.

Teresa Godwin-Phelps:

Teresa Godwin Phelps is the Director of the Legal Rhetoric Program. Her other teaching and academic interests include law and literature, international truth commissions, women and the law, and human rights. She has published over thirty articles and three books, most recently Shattered Voices: Language, Violence, and the Work of Truth Commissions (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004). Her recent and pending publications include:The Symbolic and Communicative Function of International Criminal Tribunals in Feminist Perspectives on Transitional Justice and Truth Delayed: Accounting for Human Rights Abuses in Guatemala and Spain in HumanRights Quarterly.

Victoria Phillips:

Victoria Phillips is the Director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic and teaches Communications Law. Before joining WCL she headed the mass media legal policy office at the Federal Communications Commission and practiced intellectual property and communications law in Washington, D.C.Professor Phillips is one of the principal organizers of the annual Symposium on “IP/Gender” and recently published “Commodification, Intellectual Property and the Women of Gee’s Bend” in the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & Law, and “Gender and invention’ –an introduction to one of the past issues.

Nancy Polikoff:

Nancy Polikoff teaches Family Law and a Children of LGBT Parents Seminar and specializes in the legal issues affecting lesbian and gay families, especially LGBT parents. Before joining the WCL faculty in 1987, she directed domestic relations programs at the Women’s Legal Defense Fund (now the National Partnership on Women and Families) and practiced law with the Washington, D.C. Feminist Law Collective. Her book, Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage: Valuing All Families under the Law, was published by Beacon Press in 2008. In 2011 she was honored with the Dan Bradley Award, the highest honor bestowed by the National LGBT Bar Association. 

Susana SáCouto:

Susana SaCouto is Director of the War Crimes Research Office (WCRO) and Professorial Lecturer-in-Residence at WCL, where she teaches courses on advanced topics in international criminal law, gender and human rights law and international legal responses to conflict–based sexual and gender violence. Prior to joining the WCRO, Ms. SáCouto directed the Legal Services Program at Women Empowered Against Violence (WEAVE). She also served as co-chair of the Women’s International Law Interest Group of the American Society for International Law (2006-2009), and was awarded The Women’s Law Center 22nd Annual Dorothy Beatty Memorial Award for significant contributions to women’s rights. Recent publications include: Perspectives on Crimes of Sexual Violence in International Law, 19 ILSA J. INT’L AND COMP. L.(forthcoming 2013); Gaps in Gender-Based Violence Jurisprudence of International and Hybrid Criminal Courts: Can Human Rights Law Help?, in STRENGTHENING SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS IN THE AFRICAN REGION THROUGH HUMAN RIGHTS (Ebenezer Durojaye & Charles Ngwena, eds., forthcoming 2013); Victim Participation at the International Criminal Court and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia: A Feminist Project?, 18 Mich. J. Gender & L. 297 (2012); Introduction to Panel on Gender Crimes at the International Level, in Proceedings of the Third International Humanitarian Law Dialogs 191, 42 Studies Int’l Leg. Policy 191 (Elizabeth Andersen & David Crane eds., 2010).

Macarena Saez:

Macarena Saez is a Fellow in International Legal Studies teaching in the areas of comparative law, family law, and international human rights.  She is also the Faculty Director of WCL’s Impact Litigation Project.  Before coming to WCL, she taught jurisprudence and feminist legal theory at the University of Chile.  She is currently part of the executive committee of Red-ALAS, a network of Latin American feminist scholars that develops gender initiatives in Latin American law schools with the support of the Ford Foundation.  Professor Saez was one of the lead attorneys in the landmark ATALA v. Chile case before the Inter American Court of Human Rights.  This case recognized sexual orientation as a protected category by the American Convention of Human Rights.  She is one of the two general editors of the first casebook on gender and sexuality in Latin America, La Mirada de los Jueces: Decisiones sobre Genero y Sexualidad en Latinoamérica (Siglo del El Hombre Press, 2008), recently published in English with the title Gender and Sexuality in Latin America, cases and decisions (Springer, 2013).

Ann Shalleck:

Ann Shalleck founded and directs the Women and the Law Program.  She is also the Carrington Shields Scholar at Washington College of Law. She teaches in the Women & the Law Clinic, Family Law, Feminist Jurisprudence, and a seminar on Theories of Pedagogy.  She is active in national and international efforts to reshape the law school curriculum.  Professor Shalleck was a member of the DC Task Force on Gender Bias in the Courts. Her writing focuses on clinical education, feminist theory, family law, and child neglect.

Photograph of Professor Anita  Sinha

Anita Sinha:

Anita Sinha is a Practitioner-in-Residence in the Immigrant Justice Clinic.  Her areas of expertise and scholarly interests include the intersection of gender and immigrants’ rights.  Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Sinha spent over a decade litigating and advocating on behalf of low-income women of color.  She began her career as a Skadden Fellow representing immigrant survivors of crime, including noncitizen domestic violence survivors and women and children who had been trafficked into the United States. Later in her career, Professor Sinha litigated a class-action lawsuit on behalf of displaced New Orleans public housing residents, most of who were women heads of household.  At WCL, she co-teaches the Immigrant Justice Clinic, where one focus of her teaching and case supervision includes gender- and LGBT-related claims. Professor Sinha has published extensively in a wide array of outlets, and her scholarly publications include: Inserting Community Perspective Research into Public Housing Policy Discourse: The Right to the City Alliance’s “We Call These Projects Home ,Cities (Nov. 2012); Exiling the Poor: The Clash of Redevelopment and Fair Housing in Post-Katrina New Orleans, 51 Howard L.J. 481 (2008); and Gender-Based Persecution and U.S. Asylum Law: Eliminating the ‘Cultural Hook’ for Claims Involving Gender-Related Persecution, 76 N.Y.U. Law Rev. 1562 (2001).  Professor Sinha graduated cum laude from N.Y.U. School of Law in 2001, and summa cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University. 

Brenda V. Smith:

Brenda V. Smith teaches in the Community Economic Development Law Clinic. She is also the Project Director for the Project on Addressing Prison Rape. In November, 2003, Professor Smith was appointed to the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission by the United States House of Representatives Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D. CA). Professor Smith is an expert on issues at the intersection of gender, crime, class and sexuality. She is widely published and received the Emmalee C. Godsey Research Award for her scholarship. Recent articles include: Uncomfortable Places, Close Spaces: Theorizing Female Correctional Officers’ Sexual Interactions with Men and Boys in Custody, 59 U.C.L.A. L. Rev. 1690 (2012) and After Dothard: Female Correctional Workers and the Challenge to Employment Law forthcoming in the Florida International University Law Review. In addition to teaching in the WCL Clinical Program, Professor Smith also teaches a seminar on Women, Crime and the Law.

Shana Tabak:

Shana Tabak is a Practitioner-in-Residence with the International Human Rights Law Clinic. Prior to joining WCL, she taught at George Washington Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic. Previously, she clerked for H.E. Bernardo Sepúlveda-Amor at the International Court of Justice. Shana has worked with numerous human rights organizations in Latin America and the Middle East, including Human Rights First in New York, and Gisha: Legal Center for Freedom of Movement in Israel. Her immigration and refugee experience includes work with immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based violence at the Tahirih Justice Center in Washington, DC, and on behalf of Iraqi refugees with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Amman, Jordan. She has also worked with the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, and with the law firm Foley Hoag. She currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors of Encounter, an organization dedicated to conflict transformation in the Middle East. Shana was a Fulbright Scholar in Bolivia, where she conducted independent research on migration, human rights and development. Shana’s research focuses on human rights, gender,immigrant and refugee rights, and public international law. She has published with the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, the New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, the Georgetown Journal of International Law.

Anthony E Varona:

Anthony E. Varona teaches Contracts, Administrative Law, Media Law, and Introduction to Public Law. Before joining the WCL faculty he served as general counsel and legal director for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay civil rights organization. He is an active memeber of the Hispanic National Bar Association and the National Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association and is also on the national board of GLAAD. Professor Varona's scholarhip has included articles concerning civil rights, employment discrimination, hate crimes, and communications law.

Jessica Waters:

Jessica Waters is the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education in American University’s School of Public Affairs and is also a faculty member in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology and an adjunct faculty member at the Washington College of Law. Her research focuses primarily on reproductive rights law. Her recent work has explored questions related to the legal impact of women’s medical decisions during pregnancy and childbirth, employmentbased conscience protections for reproductive health care providers, and the reproductive rights of employees working for religiously affiliated employers. Her work has been published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law, and the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Prior to joining to joining the AU faculty full-time, Professor Waters was an adjunct professor at Washington College of Law and a litigator at Wilmer Hale, where she specialized in criminal defense litigation, internal investigations, and reproductive rights litigation and advocacy. She also clerked for the Honorable Emmet Sullivan on the D.C. District Court. Professor Waters previously worked at a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting access to reproductive health care. Professor Waters also serves as the Chair of the Children's Law Center Advisory Board, and is a guardian ad litem in the D.C. courts.


Diane Weinroth:

Diane Weinroth has taught at WCL for more than 15 years as a clinical instructor and adjunct professor with the Women and the Law Clinic. She also has had a private practice specializing in family law and child abuse and neglect. She is co-author of the first edition of Practice Manual for Child Abuse and Neglect Cases in the District of Columbia. Among other professional activities, she is on the board of directors of The Children’s Law Center and the Ionia Whipper Home for Girls and has been a contributing columnist for “Child Welfare Practice,” published by the ABA Center on Children and the Law. Ms. Weinroth frequently serves as a trainer of lawyers in her field of expertise for the D.C. Superior Court, the D.C. Bar and other organizations.