Elise C. Boddie is the James V. Campbell Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. Her scholarship explores the regulation and production of race in spatial contexts and dynamic systems that perpetuate racial inequality. She teaches constitutional law, state and local government law, and civil rights.  

Boddie’s work bridges diverse disciplines and practices of scholarship, teaching, community, and service and is widely cited and discussed in both academic and nonacademic circles. 

In 2012, the Law and Society Association awarded Boddie the John Hope Franklin Prize for her article “Racial Territoriality,” which appeared in the UCLA Law Review. She also has published in the Columbia Law Review, The University of Chicago Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, the North Carolina Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, the Harvard Law Review Forum, the UCLA Law Review Discourse, and the Iowa Law Review Bulletin

Her commentary has been published multiple times in The New York Times and SCOTUSblog, and in the The Washington Post, the Take Care blog, Salon, Slate, and the Huffington Post, among other news outlets. She has appeared in national and international news programs, including a BBC documentary, “The Black American Fight for Freedom,” which was released in the US in June 2021. 

She is a frequent public speaker who has lectured to audiences around the country. Before joining the Michigan Law faculty, she was a professor at Rutgers University. While at Rutgers, she founded and directed The Inclusion Project, which engaged with communities, students, faith leaders, educators, and researchers in a multisector initiative to build equitable education systems in New Jersey public schools.  She also has taught at New York Law School and at Fordham School of Law as a visiting assistant professor.

Boddie was elected to the American Law Institute in 2017 and as an American Bar Foundation Fellow in 2019. In 2021, President Biden appointed her to the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States. At the invitation of the American Law Institute, she participated during the spring of 2022 in a small bipartisan group that was convened to propose reforms to the federal Electoral Count Act.  Boddie most recently served as the principal deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Before joining the Rutgers faculty, Boddie was the director of litigation for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. (LDF) and supervised its nationwide litigation program, including its advocacy in several major US Supreme Court and federal appellate cases involving voting rights, affirmative action, and fair housing. From 1999 to 2005, she litigated affirmative action, employment, economic justice, and school desegregation cases in federal district courts and in federal courts of appeals. During this period, she served as LDF’s director of education and as an associate director of litigation. 

She has served in leadership positions on the national board of the American Constitution Society and on the board of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. During the 2016 presidential campaign, she was the coordinator for Hillary Clinton’s Civil Rights & Racial Justice Working Policy Group.

Earlier in her career, Boddie litigated at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson in its New York office as the first recipient of the Fried, Frank/LDF fellowship.