Martha Minow

b. December 6, 1954

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Martha Minow until we are able to commission a full entry.

Martha Minow, Harvard Law Commencement 2010.
Courtesy of chensiyuan.

Martha Louise Minow has shaped laws to help the disempowered, and as dean of Harvard Law School, has also shaped the next generation of lawmakers. Minow served as editor of the Yale Law Journal before graduating from Yale Law School in 1979. She clerked for Judge David Bazelon of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall before joining the faculty of Harvard Law School in 1981. Minow served on the Independent International Commission on Kosovo and worked with the UN to create Imagine Co-Existence, which encourages peaceful development in post-conflict regions. She helped the Department of Education and the Center for Applied Special Technology shape legislative initiatives to increase access for students with disabilities and create national standards for accessibility. In 2009, she was named dean of Harvard Law School. That same year, President Obama nominated her to the board of the Legal Services Corporation, which offers legal assistance to low-income Americans, citing both her distinguished career and the powerful influence she had on him during his law-school education. Confirmed by the US Senate, she served as vice-chair of the Legal Services Corporation starting in 2016. Minow is author and editor of several scholarly articles and books, including In Brown's Wake: Legacies of America's Constitutional Landmark (2010). She was a founding board member of the Jewish Women’s Archive. On June 30, 2017, Minow stepped down from her post as Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law. From 2017 to 2018, she served as Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence. In 2018, she assumed the position of 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard University. 



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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Martha Minow." (Viewed on May 29, 2024) <>.