Michele Bratcher Goodwin

Chancellor’s Professor of Law
Michele Bratcher Goodwin


Bioethics, constitutional law, family law, human rights, medical law, reproductive rights, torts


Professor Michele Goodwin is a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Irvine with appointments at the School of Law; Program in Public Health; Department of Criminology, Law, & Society; Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies; and Stem Cell Research Center. She is the founder and director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy at UC Irvine School of Law and its internationally acclaimed Reproductive Justice Initiative.

Professor Goodwin serves on the National Board and Executive Committee of the American Civil Liberties Union and is an elected member of the American Law Institute and Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She is one of the world’s leading authorities on the regulation of medicine, science, and biotechnology. Her scholarship defines new ways of thinking about the intersections of law, society, economics, and the human body.

She is a prolific author.  Her publications include five books and over 80 articles and book chapters on law’s regulation of the human body, including civil and criminal regulation of pregnancy and reproduction, reproductive technologies, human trafficking (for organs, sex, and marriage), and tissue and organ transplantation. Her recent works appear in or are forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal, Harvard Law Review, California Law Review, Georgetown Law Review, Northwestern Law Review, Texas Law Review, and the Hastings Centers Report, among others.  Her scholarship is cited by courts, legislators, and featured in news and periodicals.

Professor Goodwin’s editorials and commentaries appear in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Forbes, Politico, Gene Watch, Christian Science Monitor, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Sun Times, Washington Post, AlterNet and Salon.com among others. She is a blogger for the Huffington Post and the Harvard Bill of Health and has been interviewed by local, national, and international news media. She is the recipient of awards recognizing excellence in scholarship, teaching, advocacy, and the promotion of human rights.

She is the founder of the Institute for Global Child Advocacy and former Everett Fraser Professor in Law at the University of Minnesota. She served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago and as a Visiting Scholar at the University of California-Berkeley and Columbia University Law School. She is a highly sought after voice on civil liberties, reproductive justice and health, cultural politics, and human rights. Prior to law teaching, Professor Goodwin was a Gilder-Lehrman Post-Doctoral Fellow at Yale University.

Current Courses:

Reproductive Justice Clinic, Advanced Reproductive Justice Clinic

Prior Courses:

Biotechnology and The Law, Constitutional Law, Constitutional Torts, Genetic Property and the Law, Health Law, Health Regulations, Torts, Education Law, Mental Health Law, Women & The Rule of Law, Reproductive Justice Clinic

Prof. Goodwin’s Scholarly Papers on SSRN

Keynote and Endowed Lecture Honors

  • Capitol Day, Keynote Speaker, Planned Parenthood of California (May 2017)
  • Suzanne Renee Leider Lecture, Respondent, University of California, Irvine (May 2017)
  • Diane and Adam E. Max Colloquia, Closing Panel, New York Historical Society (March 2017)
  • Plenary Speaker, Planned Parenthood 100th Anniversary Annual Meeting (June 2016)
  • Lawrence Lader Lecture, Harvard University (May 2016)
  • Macaulay Honors College Lecture, City University of New York (May 2016)
  • Shallenberger Lecture, Johns Hopkins University (April 2016)
  • 2015 Annual Lecture in Health Policy and Law, Northeastern University (October 2015)
  • Minnesota Academy of Medicine Annual Lecture (May 2015)
  • 2015 Robert H. Levi Leadership and Carey Symposium in Markets and Ethics (May 2015)
  • Chancellor’s Chair Lecture, University of California, Irvine School of Law (April 2015)
  • Distinguished Lecture, St. Thomas University School of Law (February 2015)
  • 2014 Howard A. Schneiderman Bioethics Lecture, University of California, Irvine (2014)

Academic Honors and Grants

  • American Bar Foundation Fellow (2017-)
  • Black Leadership Advancement Coalition, Leadership Award (2017)
  • National Academy of Science, Committee on Issues in Organ Donor Research (2016-)
  • American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, Board Member (2016-2019)
  • 2016 Outstanding Faculty Award, Law Students For Reproductive Justice (2016)
  • Chief Executive Roundtable, University of California, Irvine (2015)
  • Trustee, Law & Society Association (2013-2015)

Civic Honors, Awards, & Memberships

  • American Law Institute (elected 2016)
  • Plenary Speaker, Women Deliver, 4th Global Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark (2016)
  • Plenary Speaker, International Academy of Trial Lawyers (July, 2015)