Charles R. Lawrence, III

  • Professor of Law
  • University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Centennial Professor


  • BA Haverford College 1965
  • JD Yale Law School 1969


Professor Lawrence joined the William S. Richardson School of Law in 2008 from Georgetown. He began his teaching career at the University of San Francisco in 1974, was a tenured professor at Stanford and Georgetown, and has visited several other schools, including Harvard, Berkeley, UCLA, and the University of Southern California. Professor Lawrence is best known for his prolific work in antidiscrimination law, equal protection, and critical race theory. His most recent book, We Won't Go Back: Making the Case for Affirmative Action (Houghton Mifflin, 1997), was co-authored by Professor Mari Matsuda. Professor Lawrence received the University of San Francisco School of Law's Most Distinguished Professor Award; the John Bingham Hurlburt Award for Excellence in Teaching, presented by the 1990 graduating class of Stanford Law School; and the Society of American Law Teachers national teaching award. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Haverford College and served as a member of the District of Columbia Board of Education and on many other public interest boards.

Keynote Address: 2013 Access to Justice Conference .pdf



  • We Won't Go Back: Making the Case for Affirmative Action, Houghton-Mifflin (1997) (with Matsuda)
  • Words That Wound: Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech and The First Amendment, Westview Press (1993) (with Matsuda, Delgado and Crenshaw)
  • The Bakke Case: The Politics of Inequality, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1979) (with Dreyfuss)


  • Charles R. Lawrence III, Race, Multiculturalism, and the Jurisprudence of Transformation, in Mixed Race America and the Law: A Reader 455-457 (Kevin R. Johnson ed., New York: New York University Press 2003).
  • "Who are We? And Why are We Here? Doing Critical race Theory in Hard Times" in Crossroads, Directions and a New Critical Race Theory, Valdes, Culp and Harris, Editors, Temple University Press, (2002)
  • Charles R. Lawrence III, Segregation Misunderstood: The Milliken Decision Revisited, in In Pursuit of a Dream Deferred: Linking Housing and Education Policy 183-208 (John A. Powell, Gavin Kearney & Vina Kay eds., New York: P. Lang 2001).
  • "The Message of the Verdict: A Three Act Morality Play Starring Clarence Thomas, Willie Smith and Mike Tyson" in Black Men on Race, Gender, and Sexuality, Devon Carbado, Editor, New York University Press, (1999)
  • "Race and Affirmative Action: A Critical Race Perspective" in The Politics of Law: A Progressive Critique, 3rd ed., David Kairys, editor, Basic Books, (1998)
  • "The Message of the Verdict: A Three-Act Morality Play Starring Clarence Thomas, Willie Smith, and Mike Tyson" in Race, Gender and Power in America, Anita Faye Hill and Emma Coleman Jordan, editors, Oxford University Press (1995)
  • "Cross Burning and the Sound of Silence: Anti-Subordination Theory and the First Amendment" in The Price We Pay: The Case Against Racist Speech, Hate Propaganda and Pornography, Laura Lederer and Richard Delgado, editors, Hill and Wang (1995)
  • "Listening to the Lessons of Our History: African Americans, Hate Speech, and the First Amendment" in African Americans and the Living Constitution, John Hope Franklin and Genna Rae McNeil, editors, Smithsonian Institution Press (1995)
  • "Advice for Minority Students" in Looking at Law School, 3d ed., Stephen Gillers, Editor, New American Library (1990)
  • "First Amendment Critique of Schooling" in Public School Monopoly, Everhart, Editor (1980)
  • "'One More River to Cross' Recognizing the Real Injury in Brown: A Prerequisite to Shaping New Remedies" in Shades of Brown: New Perspectives on School Desegregation, Derrick Bell, Editor, Columbia Teacher's College Press (1980)
  • "Black Americans and the Criminal Justice System" in Challenges and Alternatives to the Criminal Justice System, Allen Clavin, Editor, Monograph Publishing Series (1979)


  • "Unconscious Racism Revisited: Reflections on the Impact and Origins of The Id, the Ego, and Equal Protection" 40 Conn. L. Rev. 931, (2008)
  • "Who is the child Left Behind?: The Racial Meaning of the New School Reform," 39 Suffolk L. Rev. 699 (2006)
  • "Forbidden Conversations: On Race Privacy and Community (A Continuing Conversation with John Ely on Racism and Democracy," 114 Yale Law Journal 1353, (2005)
  • "Still Blaming the Victim," Boston Review: A Political and Literary Forum, Vol. 28, Nos. 3-5, (Summer 2003)
  • "Two Views of the River: A Critique of the Liberal Defense of Affirmative Action," 101 Col. L. Rev. 928, (2001)
  • "Each Other's Harvest: Diversity's Deeper Meaning," 31 U.S.F. L. Rev. 757, (1997)
  • "Race, Multiculturalism, and the Jurisprudence of Transformation," 47 Stan. L. Rev. 819, (1995)
  • "The Epidemiology of Color-Blindness: Learning to Think and Talk About Race Again," 15 Boston College Third World L. J. 1, (1995)
  • "Crossburning and The Sound of Silence: Antisubordination Theory and The First Amendment," 37 Vill. L. Rev. 787 (1992)
  • "The Word and The River: Pedagogy as Scholarship as Struggle," 65 S. Cal. L. Rev. 2231 (1992)
  • "Cringing at Myths of Black Sexuality," 65 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1357 (1992)
  • "Doing the 'James Brown' at Harvard: Professor Derrick Bell as Liberationist Teacher," 8 Harv. Blackletter J. 263 (1991)
  • "If He Hollers Let Him Go: Regulating Racist Speech on Campus," 1990 Duke Law Journal 431 (1990)
  • "The Id, The Ego, and Equal Protection: Reckoning with Unconscious Racism," 39 Stan. L. Rev. 317 (1987)
  • "Promises to Keep: We Are the Constitution's Framers," 30 Howard L.J. 645 (1987)
  • "Minority Hiring in the A.A.L.S. Law Schools: The Need for Voluntary Quotas," 20 U.S.F. L. Rev. 429 (1986)
  • "A Dream: On Discovering the Significance of Fear," 10 Nova L. Rev. 627 (1986)
  • Book Review, "Education for Self-Government: Reassessing the Role of the Public School in a Democracy," 82 Mich. L. Rev. 810 (1984)
  • Book Review/Essay "'Justice' or 'Just Us': Racism and Role of Ideology," 35 Stan. L. Rev. 831 (1983)
  • "The Manipulation of Consciousness: A First Amendment Critique of Schooling," 15 Harv. Civil Rights Liberties L. Rev. 309 (1980)
  • "The Bakke Case: Are Racial Quotas Defensible?" Saturday Review, October 15, 1977
  • "Segregation Misunderstood: The Milliken Decision Revisited," 12 U.S.F. L. Rev. 15 (1977)
  • "When Defendants are Foxes Too: The Need for Intervention by Minorities in 'Reverse Discrimination' Suits," 34 Guild Practitioner 1 (1977)
  • "Free Schools: Public and Private and Black and White," Inequality in Education, Issue No. 3 (1969)


  • Board of Directors, Society of American Law Teachers (1982- present) (President 1988-89).
  • Board of Directors, Public Radio International (1999 - present).
  • Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, conferred by Haverford College, December 2, 2000.
  • Board of Education, District of Columbia Public Schools (2001 -2004); Board of Directors, Maya Angelou Public Charter School (2003-present).