FeministLawProf Profile: Neil Buchanan

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I am a law professor because of the influence of feminist legal theorists. I was trained as an economist at Harvard, but I always found the methodological norms in the field to be too limiting and was drawn toward interdisciplinary inquiries. In 1995, I was invited to one of Professor Martha Fineman’s feminist legal theory workshops at Columbia Law School. I found the atmosphere to be supportive and friendly at the same time that the discussions were substantive and fascinating. After attending several more feminist workshops over the next few years, I entered law school at Michigan (where I took Catharine MacKinnon’s “Sex Equality” course) and soon became a law professor. Although my current scholarship does not engage directly with feminist legal theory, my inquiry is always guided by the concerns about equality that motivate feminist scholars. In my teaching (tax policy, contracts, and basic tax), I find myself emphasizing gender issues whenever possible, pointing out to students the sexist assumptions and attitudes that so often permeate legal analysis. Students are often surprised to find a male professor who is an avowed feminist, but the results have always been quite positive.  

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-Neil Buchanan

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