Advisory Board Member

Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Dean and Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law


Angela Onwuachi-Willig is Dean and Professor of Law at Boston University School of Law. A renowned legal scholar and expert in critical race theory, employment discrimination, and family law, she joined the law school as dean in August 2018.

Before joining the School of Law, Dean Onwuachi-Willig served as Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Previously, she taught at the University of Iowa College of Law, where she was the Charles and Marion Kierscht Professor and at the University of California, Davis, King Hall, where she was acting (assistant) professor of law. As a classroom teacher at her previous institutions, she taught employment discrimination, evidence, family law, critical race theory, and torts.

Angela is the author of According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family (Yale 2013). Her articles have appeared in leading law journals such as the Yale Law Journal, Virginia Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, California Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Texas Law Review, UCLA Law Review, and Vanderbilt Law Review, to name a few.

Angela is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Clyde Ferguson Award (2015), the AALS Derrick Bell Award (2006), the Gertrude Rush Award (2016) from the Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys and the Iowa Chapter of the National Bar Association, and Law and Society’s John Hope Franklin, Jr., Prize (2018). Along with her coauthor Mario Barnes, she is the first faculty member to win both the Ferguson and Bell Awards. In the 2017–18 academic year, Angela served as the William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law at the American Bar Foundation. Most recently, she was nominated as an EXTRAordinary Woman in Boston, 2019.

Angela received the 2016 Collegiate Teaching Award at the University of Iowa College of Law and the 2012 Marion Huit Award, a University of Iowa award given to a faculty member in recognition of outstanding teaching and assistance to students, exceptional research and writing, and dedicated service to the University and the surrounding community. Other honors include her selection as a finalist for the Supreme Court of Iowa in 2011; identification by the National Law Journal as one of the “Minority 40 under 40” in 2011 and by Lawyers of Color as one of the “50 Law Professors of Color Under 50” in its inaugural list in 2013; and election to the American Law Institute (ALI), American Bar Foundation (ABF), and Iowa Bar Foundation.

Angela’s leadership roles include her service on the Grinnell College board of trustees, the AALS Membership Review Committee, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) board, and the Warren-Markey Judicial Selection Committee. She also served as the Grinnell College Alumni Council president and the chair for AALS Committee on the Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Teachers and Students for two years, leading the committee as it drafted and developed an official Statement of Good Practices on the Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Teachers. She also is the founder of the Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Workshop, which has resulted in the production of many books and hundreds of articles and essays by its participants and has assisted dozens of women on the path to tenure. Angela also has served as the chair of the AALS Minority Groups Section, the AALS Law and Humanities Section, and the AALS Employment Discrimination Section and was chair of the 2015 AALS Mid-Year Workshop.

Angela graduated from Grinnell College, Phi Beta Kappa, and received her JD from the University of Michigan, where she was a Clarence Darrow Scholar, a Michigan Law Review note editor, and an associate editor for the founding issue of the Michigan Journal of Race and Law. After law school, she clerked for US District Court Judge Solomon Oliver of the Northern District of Ohio and US Sixth Circuit Judge Karen Nelson Moore. She received her PhD in sociology and African American studies from Yale University. She has practiced law as a labor and employment associate at Jones Day in Cleveland, Ohio and Foley Hoag in Boston, Massachusetts.