Martha Minow

Martha Minow

Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence, Harvard Law School; Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor
Acting Director of the Ethics Center 1993-1994 and 2000-2001
Martha Minow

Martha Minow has taught at Harvard Law School since 1981, where her courses include civil procedure, constitutional law, family law, international criminal justice, jurisprudence, law and education, nonprofit organizations, and the public law workshop.

An expert in human rights and advocacy for members of racial and religious minorities and for women, children, and persons with disabilities, she also writes and teaches about privatization, military justice, and ethnic and religious conflict. Professor Minow became Dean of Harvard Law School in 2009, and served as the inaugural Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor from 2013–2017. In August 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Minow to the board of the Legal Services Corporation, a bi-partisan, government-sponsored organization that provides civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. The U.S. Senate confirmed her appointment on March 19, 2010 and she now serves as Vice-Chair. She co-chaired its Pro Bono Task Force. She also served as the inaugural chair of the Deans Steering Committee of the Association of American Law Schools and as a member of the American Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission. 

Besides her many scholarly articles published in journals of law, history, and philosophy, her recent books include When Should Law Forgive? (2019);  The First Global Prosecutor: Promise and Constraints (co-edited, 2015); In Brown’s Wake: Legacies of America’s Constitutional Landmark (2010); Government by Contract (co-edited, 2009); Just Schools: Pursuing Equality in Societies of Difference (co-edited, 2008).

Dean Minow was a Senior Scholar in Ethics in 1991-92 and, at Dennis Thompson's request, served as Acting Director of the Ethics Center in 1993-94 and 2000-01. She is a charter member of the Faculty Committee and has served since the founding of the Center.

Current Role

Senior Scholar