Melissa Hart

Schaden Chair and Professor of Law, Director of the Byron R. White Center
Access to Justice, Education and the Constitution, Employment Discrimination, Legal Ethics and Professionalism

University of Colorado Law School
425 Wolf Law Building
401 UCB
Boulder, CO  80309-0401
Office: 424
Phone: (303) 735-6344

Curriculum Vitae:  View (PDF format)

Educational Background:
J.D.   Harvard Law School   1995   magna cum laude
B.A.   Harvard-Radcliffe College   1991   cum laude
Melissa Hart devotes her teaching and scholarship to employment discrimination, access to justice, and constitutional law. She has been teaching at the University of Colorado Law School since 2000 and has been the Director of the Byron R. White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law since 2010. A 1995 graduate of Harvard Law School, Professor Hart clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the Second Circuit, and for Justice John Paul Stevens on the United States Supreme Court. Professor Hart practiced law for several years in Washington, D.C., including as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Professor Hart runs the Colorado Law School chapter of the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, a national program that sends law school students into high schools to teach constitutional law. She remains active in the legal community, serving on the Colorado Access to Justice Commission and the Colorado Supreme Court's Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee. She has authored several amicus briefs in employment discrimination cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and in other matters before several courts of appeals. Professor Hart is a past president of the American Association of Law Schools sections on Civil Rights and Employment Discrimination. She is on the editorial board of the peer-reviewed Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal and is the co-chair of the Labor Law Group.

Works In Progress

Rethinking Access to Justice through the Law Firm Incubator Movement.

Published Books

Hart (with Maria Ontiveros, Roberto Corrada, and Michael Selmi), Employment Discrimination Law: Cases and Material on Equality in the Workplace, (Thomson/West, 10th ed. 2016).


Hart (with Daniel Taubman), Envisioning 100% Access to Justice in Colorado, The Colorado Lawyer (January 2017).
Hart (with Matthew Gaertner), From Access to Success: College Outcomes for Class-Based Admits, 86 Colo. L. Rev. 431 (2015).
The More Things Change?: Exploring Solutions to Persisting Discrimination in Legal Academia, 31 Colum. J. Gender & L. 1 (2015).
Internships as Invisible Labor, 18 Employee Rts. & Emp. Pol'y J. 141 (2014).
Missing the Forest for the Trees: Pay Discrimination in Academia, 91 Denver L. Rev. 873 (2014).
Public Constitutional Literacy: A Conversation, 90 Denver L. Rev. 825 (2013).
Hart (with Matthew Gaertner), Considering Class: College Access and Diversity, 7 Harv. L & Pol'y Rev. 301 (2013).
Civil Rights and Systemic Wrongs, 32 Berkeley J. Emp. & Lab. L. 455 (2011).
From Wards Cove to Ricci: Struggling Against the "Built-in Headwinds" of a Skeptical Court, 46 Wake Forest L. Rev. 261 (2011).
Business-Like: The Supreme Court's 2009-2010 Labor and Employment Decisions, 14 Emp. Rts. & Emp. Pol'y J. 207 (2010).
Hart (with Paul Secunda), A Matter of Context: Social Framework Evidence in Employment Discrimination Class Actions,, 78 Fordham L. Rev. 37 (2009).
Procedural Extremism: The Supreme Court's 2008-09 Labor and Employment Cases, 13 Emp. Rts. & Emp. Pol'y J. 253 (2009).
Hart (panel discussion with Minna J. Kotkin, Roberto Corrada, and Deborah Widiss), If It Is Broken, Then Fix It: Needed Reforms to Employment Discrimination Law, (2009 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Employment Discrimination Law), 13 Emp. Rts. & Emp. Pol'y J. 361 (2009).
Retaliatory Litigation Tactics: The Chilling Effects of "After-Acquired Evidence", 40 Ariz. St. L.J. 401 (2008).
Hart (with Marcia McCormick & Paul Secunda), Chained to Office Politics: Liberty Loses When Companies Herd Workers into 'Captive Meetings', Legal Times, Sept. 9, (2008).
Foreword, 79 U. Colo. L. Rev. unpaged (Second Annual Colloquium on Scholarship in Labor and Employment Law) (2008).
The Possibility of Avoiding Discrimination: Considering Compliance and Liability, 39 Conn. L. Rev. 1623 (2007). abstract
Disparate Impact Discrimination: The Limits of Litigation, The Possibilities for Internal Compliance, 33 J.C. & U.L. 547 (2007).
Public Interest Service at the University of Colorado School of Law, Jan. 2007, Colorado Lawyer at 55 (2007).
Dukes v. Wal-Mart: Size Is Not an Argument Against Class Certification, Class Actions & Derivative Suits (CADS) Report, Spring 2007, at 3 (2007).
Learning From Wal-Mart, 10 Employee Rts & Emp. Pol'y J. 355 (2006). abstract
Skepticism and Expertise: The Supreme Court and the EEOC, 74 Fordham L. Rev. 1947 (2006). abstract
Subjective Decisionmaking and Unconscious Discrimination, 56 Ala. L. Rev. 741 (2005). abstract
Will Employment Discrimination Class Actions Survive?, 37 Akron L. Rev. 813 (2004). abstract
Litigation Narratives: Why Jenson v. Eveleth Didn't Change Sexual Harassment Law, But Still Has a Story Worth Telling (Book Review of Class Action: The Story of Lois Jenson and the Landmark Case That Changed Sexual Harassment Law), 18 Berkeley Women's L. J. 282 (2003).
Conflating Scope of Right with Standard of Review: The Supreme Court's "Strict Scrutiny" of Congressional Efforts to Enforce the Fourteenth Amendment, 46 Villanova L. Rev. 1091 (2001).

Book Chapters

Implicit Bias in Employment Litigation in IMPLICIT RACIAL BIAS ACROSS THE LAW (with U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner)(Cambridge University Press 2012).
Corning Glass Works v. Brennan, 417 U.S. 188 (1974), Dothard v. Rawlinson, 433 U.S. 321 (1977), Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U.S. 677 (1973), Harris v. Forklift Systems, 510 U.S. 17 (1993), Kahn v. Shevin, 416 U.S. 351 (1974), and Price Waterhouse v. Hopk, Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States (David S. Tanenhaus ed., Macmillan Reference USA, 2008).

Book Reviews

Reordering the First Amendment: Review of Burt Neuborne, Madison's Music, Judicature (Autumn 2016).

Selected Press, Media & Publicity

Legal Experts Across U.S. Urge Senate to Fulfill Its Constitutional Duties | Huffington Post | Thursday, March 3, 2016
Colorado Professors Warn Waiting to Replace Justice Antonin Scalia Is Risky | The Denver Post | Sunday, February 14, 2016
CU Law Professor Tapped for Bridge to Justice Board | Law Week Online | Monday, November 23, 2015
Senators set up separate searches | The Durango Herald | Saturday, November 7, 2015
Expert Eyes on High Court | Law Week Online | Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Court of Appeals: Let Them Eat Cake? | Law Week Colorado | Friday, August 14, 2015
Religious Beliefs, Gay Rights Clash in Court Case Over Cake | The New York Times | Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Gay Rights and Colorado: Supreme Court Overrides State Amendments in 1995 and 2015 | KUNC Community Radio for Northern Colorado | Friday, June 26, 2015
King v. Burwell: What's Next for Colorado After the Supreme Court Ruling? | Colorado Health Institute | Thursday, June 25, 2015
Finalists Announced for CO Supreme Court Vacancy | Law Week Online | Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Anti-Discrimination Laws for Gays | Bloomberg Law | Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins: A Discussion about Gender Equality in Law | Legal Talk Network | Friday, April 3, 2015
Panel: Watch These Cases | Law Week Colorado | Monday, October 20, 2014
Students Focused On Giving Back | Law Week Colorado | Wednesday, June 11, 2014
US Supreme Court rejects sex bias case against retain giant Walmart | Yahoo News | Monday, June 27, 2011
Hostility toward working Women | New York Times, Room for Debate | Monday, June 27, 2011

Recent Colorado Law News

Apr 14, 2010 Clifford Calhoun Public Interest Award (WATCH VIDEO)


Fall 2017 Education and the Constitution LAWS 7285-001
Fall 2017 Poverty Law LAWS 7515-801
Spring 2017 Legal Ethics and Professionalism LAWS 6103-002
Spring 2017 Employment Discrimination LAWS 7541-001
Spring 2017 Employment Discrimination LAWS 7541-902
Fall 2016 Education and the Constitution LAWS 7285-001
Fall 2016 Access to Justice?: The Provision of Legal Services for Middle- and Low-Income People LAWS 8785-001
Fall 2015 Legal Ethics and Professionalism LAWS 6103-001
Fall 2015 Education and the Constitution LAWS 7285-001
Spring 2015 Employment Discrimination LAWS 7541-001
Spring 2015 Access to Justice?: The Provision of Legal Services for Middle- and Low-Income People LAWS 8785-001
Fall 2014 Legal Ethics and Professionalism LAWS 6103-803
Fall 2014 Education and the Constitution LAWS 7285-001
Spring 2014 Legal Ethics and Professionalism: What Kind of Lawyer Do You Want to Be LAWS 5103-001
Spring 2014 Employment Discrimination LAWS 7541-001
Fall 2013 Legal Ethics and Professionalism LAWS 6103-803
Fall 2013 Education and the Constitution LAWS 7285-001
Spring 2013 Legal Ethics and Professionalism: What Kind of Lawyer Do You Want to Be LAWS 5103-801
Spring 2013 Education and the Constitution LAWS 8285-801
Fall 2012 Education and the Constitution LAWS 8285-801