Sheldon Bernard Lyke

Visiting Assistant Professor of Law

Assistant Professor of Law. Whittier Law School
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Whittier College (courtesy)
Sheldon Bernard Lyke's image

Property, wills & trusts, affirmative action, commons property law institutions, law, society, race, and sexuality


Sheldon Bernard Lyke is an Assistant Professor at Whittier Law School, where he teaches Property and Wills & Trusts. Professor Lyke uses empirical methods, comparative law, and property theory to study the role of law and its institutions in the stratification of marginalized people. He particularly studies racial and sexual minorities in a comparative context. At the heart of his scholarship is a desire to identify the social collective action problems associated with shared resources (i.e., commons) and understand their links to oppression. His dissertation project examined cosmopolitanism and how foreign high court judges use and share foreign legal authority in their civil and human rights decisions. Professor Lyke’s current research explores anti-affirmative action practices in higher education as a shared commons problem. His work is increasingly observing commons property law institutions (e.g., charitable trusts, estates, and organizations) and their role in creating and ameliorating social inequality.

Professor Lyke has extensive research and teaching experience in the areas of law, society, race, and sexuality. In 2011, he was appointed as the inaugural Dorr Legg Law and Policy Fellow by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. Before joining the faculty at Whittier, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Northwestern University School of Law where he taught Critical Race Theory and Law & Society. Additionally, he has taught a variety of law and social science courses at Saint Xavier University, Columbia College Chicago, and the Illinois Institute of Technology. At the University of Chicago, he served as a Lecturer and taught: Race as Property, Contemporary Global Issues, and Sexuality & Human Rights. The latter course was made possible after winning the 2003 University of Chicago Human Rights Lectureship. Before completing his Ph.D., he received a JD from Northwestern University School of Law and his AB cum laude in Sociology from Princeton University.

Current Courses:
Wills & Trusts
Prior Courses:

Real Property, Wills and Trusts (Whittier Law School)

Recent Publications


Trusts and Estates (casebook) (Chartacourse, 2015)