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Jennifer L. Nye

Senior Lecturer in Law and Social Justice, Co-Chair of the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice Certificate

Portrait of Jennifer L. Nye

(413) 545-4337

Herter Hall 609

Professor Nye has over twelve years of experience as a practicing public interest attorney. While living in Tucson, Arizona, she worked at the Arizona Center for Disability Law where she practiced health and mental health care law and litigated cases at the administrative, state, and federal court levels. She has successfully represented hundreds of adults, elders, and children with disabilities in individual and class action lawsuits challenging Medicaid denials and cuts in services, including several victories at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She began her legal career at Southern Arizona Legal Aid as a National Association for Public Interest Law Fellow (now Equal Justice Works) and staff attorney, where she represented survivors of domestic violence in family law and immigration matters under the Violence against Women Act.  Most recently, she worked for the Center for Medicare Advocacy, a national public interest law firm.  Professor Nye is excited to return to teaching and sees training undergraduates--potential new lawyers--as integral to the work of using the law for social justice. Her appointment in the History Department is a natural fit, as history is critical to the methodology of the law, which is bound by precedent and always influenced by the historical and cultural context in which it arose.  Further, a history major is a common (and excellent) route for students to find their way to law school.  Professor Nye holds a law degree from Boston College Law School and previously taught at the University of Arizona in the Department of Women’s Studies and at the James E. Rogers College of Law.

Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice Program's website and Facebook page.


Research Areas

Critical legal theory
Critical race theory
Use of the law and litigation by social movements to achieve social and legal change
Feminist jurisprudence
LGBT rights law
Disability rights law
Domestic violence law
Reproductive rights law
Poverty law/public interest law


The Gender Box, 13 Berkeley Women’s Law Journal 226 (1998): 226-256. 

Legal Response to Domestic Violence in the GLBT Community, Domestic Violence and the Gay, 

Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community:  A Resource, Wingspan DV Project (2000). 

The Nuts and Bolts of Domestic Relations and Domestic Violence Law, CLE Seminar Manual (2001). 

An Overview of Arizona Medicaid Services & Due Process Rights:  How to Represent a Client in a Denial of Services Appeal, CLE Seminar Manual (2009).


Courses Recently Taught

Undergraduate Courses:

  • Women and the Law: History of Sex and Gender Discrimination Law
  • Rape Law: Gender, Race, (In)Justice
  • History of Reproductive Rights Law
  • Sex and the Supreme Court
  • Social Justice Lawyering
  • History of Domestic Violence Law
  • Liberation or Equality?: History of LGBT Rights Law