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Dean - Faculty of Law, Donna E. Young

Donna E. Young

DepartmentFaculty of Law
Areas of ExpertiseCriminal Law; Employment Law; US Federal Civil Procedure; Antidiscrimination Law and Civil Rights; Critical Race Theory and Feminist Legal Theory; Academic freedom and due process, and university governance; Title IX

Donna E. Young is the inaugural dean of the Faculty of Law at Ryerson University. Her most recent position was at Albany Law School, where she was the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy and a joint faculty member at the University at Albany’s Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her teaching and scholarship focus on law and inequality, race and gender discrimination, and academic freedom and university governance. She has taught courses in Criminal Law, Employment Law, U.S. Federal Civil Procedure, Gender and Work, and Race, Rape Culture, and Law. 

Professor Young is much sought after as a speaker and has been invited to present her work at conferences and other venues in the U.S., Canada, Sri Lanka, Italy, Germany, Hungary, France, Mexico, Portugal, and the U.K. She was a staff member at the American Association of University Professors' (AAUP) Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Governance, in Washington, D.C. and was a member of the AAUP's Committee A, the preeminent national body setting standards and investigating academic freedom disputes in the United States. She has been a Fellow at Cornell Law School's Gender, Sexuality, and Family Project, a Visiting Scholar at Osgoode Hall Law School's Institute of Feminist Legal Studies, an Associate in Law at Columbia Law School, a Visiting Scholar at the Faculty of Law at Roma Tre University in Rome, Italy, and a consultant to the International Development Law Organization for whom she traveled to Uganda to conduct field research on the relationship between gender inequality and law in the context of the HIV/AIDS crisis. Prior to joining the faculty at Albany Law School, Professor Young worked at Cornish Roland, a labour law firm in Toronto, at the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and at the Legal Department of the City of New York, Mayor's Office of Labor Relations. She is admitted to practice in New York State.

Publications (Selected) 

Race and Free Speech on College Campuses, The Oxford Handbook of Race and Law in the United States (Devon Carbado, Khiara Bridges & Emily Houh, Eds.) (Forthcoming, 2020).

A Legal History of Black Women, Sexual Violence, and Sexual Harassment in the United States, Routledge Companion To Black Women's Cultural Histories (Janell Hobson, Ed.) (Forthcoming, 2021).

Rule of Law, Activism, and Equality: Growing Anti-Subordination Norms Within the Neoliberal University, 50 John Marshall Law Review 249 (2017) (with Peter Halewood).

How Law School Rankings Change Legal Education, 103 Academe (AAUP, 2017) Book Review.

From the Editor: Race on Campus, 102 Academe (AAUP, 2016).

The History, Uses and Abuses of Title IX, American Association of University Professors (co-author) (2016).

Domains of Policy: Law & Society Perspectives on Anti-Discrimination, Wiley Handbook of Law and Society (Austin Sarat and Patty Ewick, Eds., 2015).

Exploring the Boundaries of Antidiscrimination Law and Equality in the Global Workplace, 21(1) Berkeley La Raza Law Journal 197 (2013).

Post Race Posthaste: Towards an Analytical Convergence of Critical Race Theory and Marxism, 1 COLUMBIA JOURNAL OF RACE AND LAW 499 (2012).

The Constitutional Parameters of New York State’s Domestic Workers Bill of Rights: Balancing the Rights of Workers and Employers, 74 ALBANY LAW REVIEW 1679 (2010/2011).

To the Stars Through Difficulties: The Legal Construction of Private Space in the Wizard of Oz, 20 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA INTERDISCIPLINARY LAW JOURNAL 135 (2010).

The Jurisprudence of Vulnerability: Property Rights, Domestic Violence and HIV/AIDS Among Women in Uganda, 9 INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF CONSTITUTIONALISM 327 (Penelope Andrews, Ed.) (2009).

Defining Race Through Law: Enforcing the Social Norms of Power and Privilege, 72 ALBANY LAW REVIEW 1041 (2009) (symposium).

Hurricane Katrina, OXFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY, (Paul Finkelman, Editor) (Oxford University Press, 2009).

Working Across Borders: Global Restructuring and Women's Work, 2001 UTAH LAW REVIEW 1 (2001) 

Racial Releases, Involuntary Separations and Employment At-Will, 34 LOYOLA OF LOS ANGELES LAW REVIEW 351 (2001).

Litigating Labor Rights, 94 ASIL (AMERICAN SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW) PROC. 151 (Panel summary) (2000). 

Critical Race Theory: A Comparative Approach, 91 ASIL (American Society of International Law) Proc. 423 (1997)

Culture Confronts the International, 60 ALBANY LAW REVIEW 907 (1997).  

Introduction to Part I: Portrayals of Feminism in the Media, FEMINISM, LAW AND THE MEDIA (Martha Fineman and Martha McCluskey eds., Oxford University Press, 1997).

Two Steps Removed: The Paradox of Diversity Discourse For Women of Color in Law Teaching, 11 BERKELEY WOMEN'S LAW JOURNAL (1996) 2 AFRICAN AMERICAN LAW AND POLICY REPORT (1996).

Conference Presentations and Speaking Engagements (Selected) 

Seminar Project: Pop-up Art Exhibit commemorating the 170th Anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery, (Co-Organizer/Panelist), November 22, 2019.

From Panopticism to Optimism: Re-imagining (Class) Freedom, Annual ClassCrits Conference, Western New England School of Law, (Panelist), November 15, 2019.

Plenary Session "Valuing Women's Leadership and Success, Women in Higher Education, University at Albany, (Speaker), October 11, 2019.

Literary Imaginations of Afro-Women’s Writing of the African Diasporas in a Comparative Perspective, 7th Biannual Conference of the Afroeuropeans Network: “Afroeuropeans: Black In/Visibilities Contested, Lisbon, Portugal, (Panelist), July 4, 2019.

An Author-Meets-Readers Colloquy, on Prof. Tanya Hernández's book, Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed Race Stories of Discrimination, Law and Society Conference, Washington, DC, (Panelist), May 31, 2019. 

Know Your Rights Discussion, Green Street Community Arts Center sponsored by Albany Law School’s BLSA and the Albany Community Police Review Board, (Panelist), April 27, 2019.

Title IX Revisited, National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education, CUNY Graduate Center, NY, (Panelist), April 8, 2019. 

Book Session: Henry Reichman, The Future of Academic Freedom, National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education, CUNY Graduate Center, NYC, (Panelist), April 8, 2019. 

An Author-Meets-Readers Colloquy, on Prof. Tanya Hernández's book, Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed Race Stories of Discrimination, 4th National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference: People of Color and the Future of Democracy, (Panelist), March 22, 2019. 

Regulating Harassment in the Academy, Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, (Luncheon Keynote Speaker), March 6, 2019. 

Remarks on Black History Month, James Campbell Matthews Banquet, BLSA, Albany Law School, (Keynote Speaker), March 2, 2019.

Remarks on the MeToo Movement, Nellie Bly Award for Investigative Reporting, The Museum of Political Corruption, Albany, NY, (Panelist), November 29, 2018.

MeToo: The Legal Story, Women@Work Summit, Times Union’s Hearst Media Center Albany, NY, (Keynote Speaker), June 15, 2018.

Race Hate: The New Normal?, NEPOC/CAPALF Conference, Albany Law School, (Co-organizer/Panelist), May 31-June 1, 2018

Imagining Slavery, Envisioning Freedom: A Symposium on the 30th Anniversary of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, UAlbany/Albany Law School, (Co-organizer and Panelist), April 26-27, 2018.

Academic Freedom in Trying Times, 45th Annual National Conference: Facing New Realities in Higher Education and the Professions, CUNY, (Panelist), April 16, 2018.

The #MeToo Movement Must “Say Her Name”: Law Reform and Activism at the Intersection of Race and Gender, Touro Law School, Black Law Students Association Gala, (Keynote Speaker), March 29, 2018.

Bail – Are there Better Alternatives?, 2018 Warren M. Anderson Legislative Breakfast Seminar Series, Government Law Center, Albany Law School, (Panelist), February 16, 2018.

Advancement of African Americans? Are We Stuck in the Sunken Place?: Critical Race Theory Analysis/Inclusion of Movie Get Out, 50th Annual Regional Convention of the Northeast Black Law Students Association in Albany, NY, (Panelist), January 26, 2018.

Truth is Stronger than Lies, Women's March, Albany, NY, (One of Keynote Speakers), January 20, 2018.

Developing the Relationship Between Administration and Faculty, University of Pennsylvania Center for Minority Serving Institutions Aspiring Leaders Conference, (Panelist), November 17, 2017.

“Birthright: A War Story” - A Screening of the Documentary, Madison Theater, Albany, NY, (Panelist), September 28, 2017.

The Trump Presidency and Higher Education, AAUP Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., (Panelist), June 14, 2017.

Revisiting Race on Campus, AAUP Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., (Chair/Panelist), June 14, 2017.

Working Under Trump: The State of Labor & Employment under the Trump Administration, Albany Law School Labor & Employment Law Society, OUTLaw, and Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA), Albany Law School, (Panelist), April 12, 2017.

There's No More Denying Campus Rape Is a Problem, Critical Issues in Higher Education Conference, SUNYCON, New York, NY, (Panelist), October 27, 2016.

Precarity Power and Purpose in Higher Education, SALT 2016 Teaching Conference, John Marshall Law School, Chicago, (Panelist), September 29, 2016.

Neoliberalism in the Academy: Faculty Governance, Downsizing & Diversity, Northeast People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference 2016, "Confronting the Violence of Our Times," Touro Law Center & Ron Brown Center of SJU Law, (Panelist), May 21-22, 2016.

Commencement Speaker, UAlbany, Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, May 15, 2016.

Say Her Name: Law Reform and Activism at the Intersection of Race and Gender 2nd Annual Katheryn D. Katz ’70 Memorial Lecture, Albany Law School, (Keynote Speaker), April 12, 2016.

Forum on Academic Freedom, UAlbany, Committee on Academic Freedom, Freedom of Expression, and Community Responsibility (CAFFECoR) of the University Senate, and the Albany Chapter of United University Professions, University at Albany, (Panelist), March 25, 2016.

The Impact of Pacific Lutheran on Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Governance in Religious Educational Environments​, Northeast Pennsylvania AAUP Alliance, Best Practices in Higher Education: Grounding Priorities in the Common Good, Misericordia University, (Speaker/Presenter), February 27, 2016.

Criminal Justice Reform: Making Courts Work for Our Community, 45th Annual Legislative Conference, NYS Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, (Panelist), February 13, 2016.

Keynote Speaker, Women@Work Summit, Times Union’s Hearst Media Center Albany, NY, June 15, 2018.

Keynote Speaker, Touro Law School BLSA Gala. March 29, 2018.

Commencement Speaker, University at Albany, Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, May 15, 2016.

Keynote Speaker, 2nd Annual Katheryn D. Katz ’70 Memorial Lecture, Say Her Name: Law Reform and Activism at the Intersection of Race and Gender, Albany Law School, April 12, 2016.

Recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Service Award - Albany Law School, 2014.

Named to the Lawyers of Color 50 Under 50 list of minority law professors who have made a significant impact in legal education.

Recipient of the Black Law Students Association’s 2013 John H. Higgins Alumni Award - Albany Law School

Commencement Speaker University at Albany, Department of Africana Studies, May 14, 2011.

Degree Institution Year
B.Sc. University of Toronto 1987
LL.B. Osgoode Hall Law School of York University 1991
LL.M. Columbia University School of Law 1996
  • AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure
  • ClassCrits
  • Law and Society Association
  • National Women’s Studies Association
  • New York Civil Liberties Union-Capital District
  • Society of American Law Teachers
  • Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood