Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar who currently holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining the Kirwan Institute, Alexander was an associate professor of law at Stanford Law School, where she directed the Civil Rights Clinics.
In 2005, she won a Soros Justice Fellowship, which supported the writing of her first book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (The New Press, 2010). The book has received rave reviews and has been featured in national radio and television media outlets, including NPR, The Bill Moyers Journal, the Tavis Smiley Show, and C-Span Washington Journal, among others. In March, the book won the 2011 NAACP Image Award for best non-fiction.
For several years, Alexander served as the Director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU of Northern California, where she helped lead a national campaign against racial profiling by law enforcement. While an associate at Saperstein, Goldstein, Demchak & Baller, her focus was on lawsuits alleging race and gender discrimination.
Alexander is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Vanderbilt University. Following law school, she clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the United States Supreme Court, and for Chief Judge Abner Mikva on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit.