Rachel Godsil: The Transformative Potential of Urban and Metropolitan Policy in an Obama Presidency

Professional Planning Colloquium

Rachel D. Godsil, the Eleanor Bontecou Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law, has long been involved civil rights, land use, and environmental justice law and policy. Recently, she has worked with urban and metropolitan policy experts to develop policy proposals for the Obama presidential campaign.

Godsil has written extensively on the convergence of race, poverty, and the environment.Current projects include: Protecting Status: The Mortgage Crisis, Eminent Domain, and the Crisis of Homeownership (coauthored with David Simunovich); "Contaminants in the Air and Soil in New Orleans after the Flood: Opportunities and Limitations for Community Empowerment" (coauthored with Al Huang and Gina Solomon) in Katrina After the Flood. Previously published work includes: "Just Compensation in an Ownership Society" (coauthor with David Simunovich) in Private Property, Community Development, & Eminent Domain; Race Nuisance: The Politics of Law in the Jim Crow Era; Awakening from the Dream: Civil Rights under Siege and the New Struggle for Equal Justiceem (coedited with Denise Morgan); Viewing the Cathedral from Behind the Color Line: Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Environmental Racism; Environmental Justice and the Integration Ideal; Expressivism, Empathy and Equality; Jobs, Trees, and Autonomy: The Convergence of the Environmental Justice Movement and Community Economic Development (coauthored with James Freeman); The Question of Risk: Incorporating Community Perceptions into Environmental Risk Assessments, (coauthored with James Freeman); and Remedying Environmental Racism.

Prior to joining the Seton Hall School of Law faculty in 2000, Godsil was an assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, an associate counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, an associate with Berle, Kass & Case and Arnold & Porter in New York City, a law clerk for the Honorable John M. Walker, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and a research associate for the Corporation for Enterprise Development. She was a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in the fall of 2007 and is on the advisory committee of the Center for Social Inclusion and the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights.

Godsil received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School. At Michigan, Godsil served as the executive article editor of the Michigan Law Review, was awarded the Henry M. Bates Memorial Award, and was elected to the Order of the Coif.

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