Rebecca K. Lee

Visiting Professor of Law

Associate Professor of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law


Employment discrimination, employment law, affirmative action, and leadership


Professor Rebecca K. Lee is an expert in the areas of employment discrimination, employment law, affirmative action, and leadership. She has written on the relationship between diversity and antidiscrimination objectives, the importance of organizational leadership in achieving substantive equality, empathy in judicial decisionmaking, the constitutionality and relevance of affirmative action, sex harassment and the gendered organization, and class assumptions in the judicial interpretations of sex harassment. Her work has been quoted in the amicus briefs for the State of California and other amici filed in the U.S. Supreme Court for Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Fisher I), as well as quoted in the amicus brief for the State of California in Fisher II. Professor Lee has served as a past Chair of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Labor Relations and Employment Law. She is presently a board member of the Conference of Asian Pacific American Law Faculty (CAPALF). 

At Thomas Jefferson, Professor Lee primarily teaches employment discrimination, employment law, and contracts, and was faculty co-director of the school's Employee Rights Self-Help Workshop from 2013-2018.  Before joining the faculty, she was a Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University Law Center and practiced law at the international law firm of Crowell & Moring LLP in Washington, D.C. Her practice centered on employment and labor law, government contracts, and antitrust matters. She also worked at the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs as a Crowell & Moring Public Interest Fellow. In law school, she served as editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy and worked as a judicial intern for the Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Prior to attending law school, Professor Lee earned a Master's degree in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, where she received the Dean Albert Carnesale Fellowship and was co-managing editor of the Asian American Policy Review. Before pursuing her graduate studies, she joined Teach for America as a corps member and taught at an under-resourced middle school in Oakland, California. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy Studies from the University of Chicago. At Chicago, she was awarded a University Prize for her senior thesis, which was selected as the best undergraduate paper written in the area of women's studies, feminist criticism, or gender studies and subsequently published in a law journal.

Current Courses:

Common Law Analysis: Contracts
  • Commentary on Ricci v. DeStefano, in FEMINIST JUDGMENTS: REWRITTEN EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION OPINIONS (Ann McGinley & Nicole Buonocore Porter, eds.) (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2019).
  • Beyond the Rhetoric: What It Means to Lead in a Diverse and Unequal World, 71 STAN. L. REV. ONLINE 110 (2018) (part of an online symposium issue, published in a special collaboration between Stanford Law Review and the Yale Law Journal, on #MeToo and the Future of Sexual Harassment Law).
  • Introduction to Emotions at Work: The Employment Relationship During an Age of Anxiety, 19 EMP. RTS. & EMP. POL’Y J. 43 (2015) (introduction to issue featuring papers presented at the 2015 Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting, Section on Labor Relations and Employment Law program).
  • The Future of Workplace Affirmative Action After Fisher, 89 ST. JOHN’S L. REV. 597 (2015) (selected paper for a symposium issue on Title VII at 50).
  • Judging Judges: Empathy as the Litmus Test for Impartiality, 82 U. CIN. L. REV. 145 (2013).
  • Sonia Sotomayor: Role Model of Empathy and Purposeful Ambition, 98 MINN. L. REV. HEADNOTES 73 (2013) (reviewing SONIA SOTOMAYOR, MY BELOVED WORLD (2013)).
  • Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin: Promoting Full Judicial Review and Process in Applying Strict Scrutiny, 4 HOUS. L. REV. HLRe 33 (2013).
  • Implementing Grutter's Diversity Rationale: Diversity and Empathy in Leadership, 19 DUKE J. GENDER L. & POL'Y 133 (2011), cited and quoted in Brief for the State of California and in Brief of Distinguished Alumni of the University of Texas at Austin, each as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondents, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Fisher I), 133 S. Ct. 2411 (2013), and cited and quoted in Brief for the State of California as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondents, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Fisher II), S. Ct. Docket No. 14-981 (2015). 
  • Core Diversity, 19 TEMP. POL. & CIV. RTS. L. REV. 477 (2010).
  • The Organization as a Gendered Entity: A Response to Professor Schultz’s The Sanitized Workplace, 15 COLUM. J. GENDER & L. 609 (2006).
  • Assimilation at the Cost of Authenticity, 15 ASIAN AM. POL’Y REV. 59 (2006) (reviewing KENJI YOSHINO, COVERING: THE HIDDEN ASSAULT ON OUR CIVIL RIGHTS (2006)).
  • Pink, White, and Blue: Class Assumptions in the Judicial Interpretations of Title VII Hostile Environment Sex Harassment, 70 BROOK. L. REV. 677 (2005).
  • Romantic and Electronic Stalking in a College Context, 4 WM. & MARY J. WOMEN & L. 373 (1998) (published college senior thesis).