Published: Feb. 26, 2016

University of Colorado Boulder Provost Russell L. Moore today announced four finalists for the position of dean of Colorado Law.

The finalists for the position are S. James Anaya, who is a Regents’ Professor and James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona; Mary Anne Bobinski, professor at the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver; Laura E. Gómez, professor at the UCLA School of Law; and Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Charles and Marion J. Kierscht Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law.

"The opportunity to lead one of the most distinctive and innovative law schools in the nation attracted an amazing pool of exceptional candidates, and we appreciate the tremendous interest from applicants," said Lori Bergen, chair of the search committee and founding dean of the College of Media, Communication and Information. "The search committee is honored to present these four finalists whose experience, perspectives and vision make them outstanding candidates to lead Colorado Law as the next dean."

Public sessions with each of the candidates will be held from 5:15 to 6 p.m. at the Wolf Law Building, located at 2450 Kittredge Loop Road., as follows:

  • Laura Gómez, Monday, Feb. 29, room 204
  • Mary Anne Bobinski, Monday, March 7, Wittemyer Courtroom
  • James Anaya, Monday, March 14, Wittemyer Courtroom
  • Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Wednesday, March 16, Wittemyer Courtroom

Anaya, whose teaching and writing focus on international human rights and issues concerning indigenous peoples, joined the University of Arizona in 1999. Prior to that, he held faculty positions at the University of Iowa, Harvard University, the University of Toronto, the University of Tulsa and the University of New Mexico. For his work from 2008 to 2014 as the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Anaya was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. In addition to his academic and field work, Anaya has written numerous texts and books and litigated major indigenous rights and human rights cases domestically and internationally. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico and a law degree from Harvard Law School.

Bobinski’s research focuses on health law in the United States and Canada including expertise in public and reproductive health, conflicts of interest in health care and research, and comparative health law. She served as dean and professor at the Allard School of Law from 2003 to 2015, where she continues to serve on the faculty as a professor. From 1998 to 2003, she held teaching, policy and administrative positions, including senior associate dean for academic affairs, at the University of Houston Law Center in Texas. Bobinski’s breadth of published writing and service – to various boards, committees, councils, conferences and more – is extensive.  She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB), a law degree from UB and a master of laws, which is a postgraduate law degree, at Harvard University.

Gómez has lectured and published extensively in the fields of law and society, critical race theory and the sociology of race. She has taught civil procedure, criminal law, constitutional law and introduction to legal analysis. She is appointed to not only the School of Law at UCLA, but also the departments of sociology and Chicana/Chicano studies. After a career that began at UCLA in 1994, she served as a professor of law and American studies at the University of New Mexico from 2005 to 2011. She then rejoined the UCLA faculty in 2011. Her administrative experience includes having served as a vice dean of the UCLA School of Law, an associate dean at the UNM School of Law, president of the Law and Society Association, founder and the first co-director of UCL by A's Critical Race Studies Program and co-director of the Institute for the Study of Race & Social Justice at UNM. Gómez received a bachelor’s degree in social studies from Harvard College, a master’s and a doctoral degree in sociology from Stanford University and a law degree from Stanford Law School.

Onwuachi-Willig’s research explores issues of race, class, rhetoric, stigma and identity in the contexts of antidiscrimination and family law. She’s authored a book and numerous articles that have appeared in leading law journals, as well as opinion pieces. She often is invited to lecture in higher education settings and is the recipient of many awards. Onwuachi-Willig received a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College in Iowa. She received a law degree from the University of Michigan, where she was a Clarence Darrow Scholar, an editor for the Michigan Law Review and an associate editor for the founding issue of the Michigan Journal of Race and Law. She currently is a doctoral candidate in sociology and African American studies at Yale University.

In August 2015, Moore announced Colorado Law Dean Philip J. Weiser will step down and return to the faculty on July 1, 2016, and will continue as the executive director of the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship and the campus entrepreneurship initiative.

For full-length biographies on each of the finalists visit


Pictured (left to right): Top Row: Anaya and Bobinski. Bottom Row: Gómez and Onwuachi-Willig.