Chancellor’s Professor of Law Michele Goodwin Elected President of the Law and Society Association


Michele Goodwin

IRVINE, Calif. (Nov. 8, 2022) — The University of California, Irvine School of Law (UCI Law) is proud to announce that Michele Goodwin, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy, has been elected the next President of the Law and Society Association (LSA). She will begin her two-year term as President following the LSA annual meeting in 2023.

LSA is the largest sociolegal organization in the world. Global and interdisciplinary in scope, it connects scholars from across disciplines who share a common interest in the role law plays in societal, political, cultural, and economic life.  Its most recent annual meeting in Lisbon, Portugal drew thousands of socio-legal scholars from around the world from over 60 countries across six continents. Professor Goodwin served as Co-Chair of the LSA Program Committee for the 2022 Annual Meeting in Lisbon.

“It is an honor to be elected president of the Law and Society Association, an organization that has helped to articulate and define the importance of interdisciplinary research, model international collaboration and cooperation, and shape empirical legal studies,” said Michele Goodwin. “I could not be prouder than to be named its next president and to celebrate the new class of LSA Trustees.”

UCI Law Dean Austen Parrish noted, “The University of California, Irvine and UCI Law have long had a deep connection with the Law and Society Association, and many of our faculty are Law and Society scholars, who are deeply involved with the organization. We are extremely proud that Prof. Michele Goodwin has been elected as president.”

“I couldn’t imagine a better choice to lead the LSA,” Dean Parrish continued. “Michele is a fabulous scholar and leader in the academy, and she joins a long list of distinguished, dedicated and visionary leaders who have served as president of LSA. I’m thrilled to see what Michele will do during her term.”

About Michele Goodwin

Michele Bratcher Goodwin is a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, and founding director of the UCI Law Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy. She is the recipient of the 2020-21 Distinguished Senior Faculty Award for Research, the highest honor bestowed by the University of California. She is also the first law professor at the University of California, Irvine to receive this award. Goodwin was selected by The American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession as one of the 2022 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award recipients, as well as the 2022 Trailblazer Award from the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute as well as an elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Hastings Center (the organization central to the founding of bioethics). She is an American Law Institute Adviser for the Restatement Third of Torts: Remedies.

Research and Scholarship Distinction:

Professor Goodwin’s constitutional law scholarship appears in or is forthcoming in the Harvard Law Review, California Law Review, Chicago Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Michigan Law Review, New York University Law Review, Northwestern Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and Yale Law Journal, among others. This dossier addresses legal questions related to freedom of speech; religious exercise; equal protection; due process; race and sex discrimination; reproductive rights; slavery; and LGBTQ equality. Her scholarship has been referenced by national media, legislators and civil society organizations.

She is credited with helping to establish and shape the health law field. She directed the first ABA accredited health law program in the nation and established the first law center focused on race and bioethics. Her health law scholarship is hailed as “exceptional” in the New England Journal of Medicine. She ranks among the most cited professors in the field. Trained in sociology and anthropology, Professor Goodwin has conducted field research in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America, focusing on human trafficking (marriage, sex, organs, and other biologics). Her books include Policing the Womb: Invisible Women and the Criminalization of Motherhood (2020); Biotechnology, Bioethics, and the Law (2015); Baby Markets: Money and the Politics of Creating Families (2010); and Black Markets: The Supply and Demand of Body Parts (2006).

Public Commentary:

Professor Goodwin is a sought-after public commentator and has been featured in print, radio, and television news, including Politico,, Forbes, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times, Vox, Mother Jones; ABC News; NBC News; NPR, HBO’s Vice News, and Ms. Magazine among others. She is host of the On the Issues with Michele Goodwin podcast at Ms. Magazine. A prolific author, Goodwin’s publications include six books and over 100 articles, essays, book chapters, and commentaries.

National and International Leadership:

Professor Goodwin has long recognized the transformative power and value of education and access. Following earning her juris doctorate, she moved south and guided one of the largest southern school districts in the United States through desegregation, equity and inclusion efforts across 52 K-12 schools and more than 35,000 students with an operating budget exceeding $350 million. She later served as an assistant dean at the University of Wisconsin to help galvanize equity and inclusion efforts, followed by directing university programs and institutes.

Professor Goodwin has authored or co-authored amicus briefs submitted to the United States Supreme Court as well as the Second, Third, Sixth, and Ninth U.S. Courts of Appeals. She has provided testimony to state and federal lawmakers and legislative committees and worked with state attorneys general or their staff on health-related matters in California, Illinois, Minnesota, and New York.

Professor Goodwin serves on the executive committee and national board of the American Civil Liberties Union. She was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on Issues in Organ Donor Intervention Research and appointed an observer by the United States National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (for the revision of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act). She chaired several sections of the Association of American Law Schools, served as a trustee of the United States Law and Society Association, and was the first woman to be elected Secretary General of the International Academy of Law & Mental Health.


Professor Goodwin has won national awards for excellence in scholarship, outstanding teaching, and committed community service. Gov. Paul Patton of Kentucky commissioned her a Colonel, the state’s highest title of honor for her outstanding contributions to K-12 education. In 2020, Orange Coast Magazine named her one of 35 Kickass Women. In 2019, she received the Be the Change Award. In 2018 she was bestowed the Sandra Day O’Connor Legacy Award by the Women’s Journey Foundation. That same year, Professor Goodwin was named Teacher of the Year by the Thurgood Marshall Bar Association and received a commendation from the United States House of Representatives for Outstanding Teaching.

Previously, Professor Goodwin was the Everett Fraser Professor at the University of Minnesota, with appointments in the Law School, Medical School, and School of Public Health. Professor Goodwin has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago and University of Virginia law schools. Prior to teaching law, she was a Gilder-Lehrman Post-Doctoral Fellow at Yale University.

About the University of California, Irvine School of Law 

The University of California, Irvine School of Law is a top, visionary law school that provides an innovative and comprehensive curriculum, prioritizes public service, and demonstrates a commitment to equity within the legal profession. UCI Law students have completed more than 135,000 hours of pro bono work since 2009. Forty-eight percent of UCI Law’s J.D. graduates are people of color. At UCI Law, we are driven to improve our local, national, and global communities by grappling with critical issues as scholars, as practitioners and as teachers who are preparing the next generation of leaders. The collaborative and interdisciplinary community at UCI Law includes extraordinary students, world-renowned faculty, dedicated staff, engaged alumni and enthusiastic supporters. More information on UCI Law is available here. Please follow us on Twitter @UCILaw and Facebook @UCIrvineLaw and Instagram @ucilaw.

Media Contact:
Colleen Taricani
Assistant Dean for Communications