Stacey L. Sobel

Visiting Professor of Law


Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and the Law


Professor Sobel is an award winning teacher who has written and lectured on legal issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity. Professor Sobel joined Western State College of Law’s faculty in the fall of 2009. She teaches Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Sexual Orientation, Gender identity and the Law.

Before coming to Western State, she was a lecturer of law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she taught Lawyering in the Public Interest and Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and the Law. Professor Sobel taught at Penn Law for five years and received its Adjunct Teaching Award in 2007. She was also a lecturer at Rutgers University School of Law – Camden in 2009 and an assistant professorial lecturer at law at the George Washington University Law School from 1992 to 1996.

Professor Sobel served as Equality Advocates Pennsylvania's (formerly the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights) executive director from 2001 to 2008. While she was Executive Director of Equality Advocates, the organization advanced noteworthy state and national legislation. Professor Sobel was part of the leadership teams that defeated legislation attempting to prohibit relationship recognition for non-married couples in the Pennsylvania Constitution in 2006 and 2008, and amended the state's hate crimes law to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, among other groups in 2002. She drafted the hate crimes legislation's text, which was one of the most comprehensive in the country and the first Pennsylvania law to recognize the LGBTQ community. Under her leadership, Equality Advocates successfully advocated before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court as co-counsel for the amici curiae for second parent adoption and custody rights for LGBT parents, and as co-council with the City of Philadelphia to uphold its domestic partnership benefits. Prior to joining Equality Advocates, she was the legal director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), where she assisted military members who were harmed by “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” and monitored its implementation.

Professor Sobel has provided legal and government affairs services for clients including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Women's Law Project among others. Her pro bono work includes serving on the Clinton/Gore transition team and the White House Office of Presidential Personnel in 1992 and 1993. Before she attended law school, she worked for the New York State Assembly House Operations Committee and the New York State Governor's Office of Employee Relations.

Current Courses:

Criminal Procedure

  • Stacey L. Sobel, The Boomerang-Backlash: Using Reverse Animus and Hostility to Limit LGBTQ Equality, 22 U. Pa. J. Const. L. (forthcoming 2019).
  • Stacey L. Sobel, When Windsor Isn’t Enough: Why the Court Must Clarify Equal Protection Analysis for Sexual Orientation Classifications, 24 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 493 (2015).
  • Stacey L. Sobel, Culture Shifting at Warp Speed: How the Law, Public Engagement and Will & Grace Led to Social Change for LGBT People, 88 St. John’s L. Rev. 143 (2015).
  • Stacey L. Sobel, The Tsunami of Legal Uncertainty: What's a Court to do Post-McDonald?, 21 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 489 (2012).
  • Stacey L. Sobel & Edwin J. Greenlee, Marriage Equality, in WHOSE GOD RULES?: IS THE UNITED STATES A SECULAR NATION OR A THEOLEGAL DEMOCRACY?, (Nathan C. Walker & Edwin J. Greenlee eds., 2011).
  • Stacey L. Sobel, The Mythology of a Human Rights Leader: How the United States has Failed Sexual Minorities at Home and Abroad, 21 Harv. Hum. Rts. J. 197 (2008).
  • John G. Culhane and Stacey L. Sobel, The Gay Marriage Backlash and Its Spillover Effects: Lessons from a (Slightly) "Blue State", 40 Tulsa L. Rev. 443 (2005).
  • Stacey L. Sobel, Sexual Orientation and the Military, 3 Geo. J of Gender & Law 135 (2001).