Melissa Murray

Keynote Speaker

Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law, New York University. Faculty Director, Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network.

Melissa Murray is the Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law, and Faculty Director of the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network. Previously, she was the Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of Law and Interim Dean of Berkeley Law, the first Black woman to lead a top ten law school.  She is a graduate of Yale Law School, where she was a member of the Yale Law Journal, and the University of Virginia, where she was a Jefferson Scholar and an Echols Scholar. Prior to entering academia, she served as a law clerk to the Hon. Sonia Sotomayor and the Hon. Stefan R. Underhill. 

Murray is a leading scholar of constitutional law and reproductive rights and justice. She researches and writes about the structures, systems, and institutions that allow women to thrive, as well as those that stymie and limit women’ s ambitions for themselves and their families. Her articles have appeared in leading law journals, including the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, and the Columbia Law Review. Murray regularly appears in print and on television to comment on critical political and policy issues. She is also the co-host of the popular Supreme Court podcast, Strict Scrutiny, and a legal analyst for MSNBC.  

Melissa’s talks explore the intersection of gender, race, and the law, and examines the role of legal institutions, including the Supreme Court, in entrenching and disrupting inequalities. An engaging and commanding speaker, Melissa challenges audiences to understand the ways in which gendered roles and expectations have long permeated—and continue to permeate— all aspects of our society, stymieing opportunities for gender justice, reproductive justice, and a more equal society.