Patricia J. Williams '73

Alumnae Achievement Awards 2002

Patricia J. Williams ’73
Legal Scholar
Professor of American Law, Columbia Univ.


2000 MacArthur Fellowship
Natl Assoc of Black Poli. Scientists Book Award

Patricia J. Williams ’73 is a legal scholar and professor of American law at Columbia University. Her books, including The Alchemy of Race and Rights: A Diary of a Law Professor (1991), The Rooster's Egg: On the Persistence of Prejudice (1995), and Seeing a Color-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race (1997), illustrate some of America's most complex societal problems and challenge our ideas about cultural constructs of race and gender.

Patricia graduated from Harvard Law School in 1975 and served as deputy city attorney in Los Angeles until 1978 and staff attorney for the Western Center on Law and Poverty in Los Angeles from 1978-80. She has taught law at Golden Gate College (1980-84), the City University of New York (1984-88), the Univeristy of Wisconsin, Madison (1988-1993), and Columbia School of Law, where she has been affiliated since 1991. She is also a contributing editor and columnist for The Nation.

Patricia has garnered many awards, including a prestigious 2000 MacArthur Fellowship, with a stipend of $500,000 over five years to support her continued intellectual studies. Other honors include being named the first black woman to give the Reith Lecture at the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1997 and receiving the National Association of Black Political Scientists Book Award in 1992.


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