Risa Goluboff headshot

Risa L. Goluboff

Unit: School of Law
Department: School of Law
Office location and address
580 Massie Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Ph.D. Princeton University 2003
J.D. Yale Law School 2000
M.A. Princeton University 1999
A.B. Harvard University 1994

Risa Goluboff is the 12th, and the first female, dean of the University of Virginia School of Law. She is a nationally renowned legal historian whose scholarship and teaching focuses on American constitutional and civil rights law, and especially their historical development in the 20th century.

Goluboff is the author of The Lost Promise of Civil Rights (Harvard, 2007), which won the 2010 Order of the Coif Biennial Book Award and the 2008 James Willard Hurst Prize. Her second book, Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s (Oxford, 2016) was supported by a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Constitutional Studies and a 2012 Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. It received the American Historical Association’s 2017 Littleton-Griswold Prize, the 2017 Lillian Smith Book Award, the 2017 John Phillip Reid Book Award and the 2016 David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Legal History, among other honors. Goluboff is also co-editor (with Myriam Gilles) of Civil Rights Stories (Foundation Press, 2008), and the author of numerous shorter works.

Goluboff has been quoted or cited by The New York Times, Time, The Atlantic and more, and she has appeared on PBS documentaries and the popular radio podcast “BackStory.” Her commentaries frequently appear in Slate.

In 2008, Goluboff received the Law School’s Carl McFarland Award for excellence in faculty scholarship, and in 2011 the University of Virginia's All-University Teaching Award. She is an affiliated scholar at the Miller Center and a faculty affiliate at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies. In 2012, Goluboff was named a distinguished lecturer by the Organization of American Historians. From 2011 to 2016, she directed the University’s J.D.-M.A. in History Program. Goluboff has served as a visiting professor at Columbia, Chicago and New York University law schools. She was elected to the American Law Institute in 2017.

Prior to joining the Law School in 2002, Goluboff clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court. She also served as a Fulbright Scholar to South Africa.

LW-INST-OSP-Goluboff 12-13
Source: American Council of Learned Societies
August 25, 2012 – June 30, 2013
LAW 6001: Constitutional Law
Credits: 4
This course is an introduction to the structure of the U.S. Constitution and the rights and liberties it defines. Judicial review, federalism, congressional powers and limits, the commerce clause, and the 10th Amendment are covered, as are the equal protection and due process clauses.
HIUS 6240: Constitutional Law II: Poverty
Credits: 3
This course will explore the Supreme Court's flirtation with constitutional protection for poor people during the 1960s and 1970s. We will place the Court's efforts in the context of the civil rights movement and ongoing concerns about race. Finally, we will discuss the demise of such protections, the reasons for it, and the recent developments in constitutional interest in poverty, income inequality, and their relationship to racial inequality.
LAW 8810: Directed Research
Credits: 1
Eligible students receive credit for serving as research assistants supervised by selected law school faculty members.
LAW 8813: Independent Research
Credits: 3
This course is a semester-long independent research project resulting in a substantial research paper supervised and graded by a selected law school faculty member.
LAW 8843: Directed Research
Credits: 2
Eligible students receive 2 credits for participating in a sustained, productive and educationally valuable project for at least 85 hours of work supervised by an eligible faculty member.
LAW 9089: Seminar in Ethical Values (YR)
This is the first semester of a yearlong seminar designed to enhance students' understanding of ethical issues and address the broader ethical and moral responsibilities of the lawyer as citizen and leader.
LAW 9090: Seminar in Ethical Values (YR)
Credits: 1
This is the second semester of a yearlong seminar designed to enhance students' understanding of ethical issues and address the broader ethical and moral responsibilities of the lawyer as citizen and leader.
LAW 9240: Constitutional Law II: Poverty
Credits: 2–3
This course will ask whether and how the Constitution can be read to protect the poor. We will explore the Supreme Court's flirtation with such protection during the 1960s and 1970s. Prerequisite: LAW 6001