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Schlanger, Margo

Wade H. and Dores M. McCree Collegiate Professor of Law

910 Legal Research

Margo Schlanger, the Wade H. and Dores M. McCree Collegiate Professor of Law, is a leading authority on civil rights issues and civil and criminal detention. She joined the Law School faculty in fall 2009; her teaching and research deal with civil rights, prison reform, torts, and surveillance. She also founded and heads the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse. She is the court-appointed settlement monitor for Adams v. Kentucky Department of Corrections, a statewide civil rights lawsuit dealing with conditions of confinement for Kentucky's deaf prisoners. Before starting at Michigan, she was a professor at Washington University in St. Louis and an assistant professor at Harvard Law School.

In 2010 and 2011, Professor Schlanger was on leave, serving as the presidentially appointed Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As the head of civil rights and civil liberties for DHS, she was the secretary's lead adviser on civil rights and civil liberties issues. In that capacity, she testified before Congress; chaired the Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Subcommittee of the federal Information Sharing Environment's Information Sharing and Access Interagency Policy Committee; chaired the Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities; served on the first U.S. delegation to the UN Universal Periodic Review; and met with community leaders and groups across America to ensure that their perspectives regarding civil rights and homeland security were considered in the Department's policy process.

Professor Schlanger earned her JD from Yale in 1993. While there, she served as book reviews editor of the Yale Law Journal and received the Vinson Prize for excellence in clinical casework. She then served as a law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1993 to 1995. From 1995 to 1998, she was a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, where she worked to remedy civil rights abuses by prison and police departments and earned two Division Special Achievement awards.

Professor Schlanger served on the Vera Institute's blue-ribbon Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons, worked as an adviser on the development of proposed national standards implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act, and testified before the Prison Rape Elimination Commission. She served as the reporter for the American Bar Association's revision of its Standards Governing the Legal Treatment of Prisoners. She has been the chair of the Association of American Law Schools sections on Remedies and on Law and the Social Sciences.

Visit Professor Schlanger's homepage for more information.


Recent Publications

More Publications...

Incarceration and the Law, Cases and Materials. 10th ed. Sheila Bedi, David M. Shapiro, and Lynn S. Branham, co-authors. American Casebook Series West Academic Publishing, 2020.

"The Constitutional Law of Incarceration, Reconfigured." Cornell L. Rev. 103, no. 2 (2018): 357-436.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw | SSRN

"Prisoners with Disabilities." In Reforming Criminal Justice: Punishment, Incarceration, and Release, edited by E. Luna, 4, 295-323. Phoenix, Ariz.: Academy for Justice, 2017.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | SSRN

"The Just-Barely-Sustainable California Prisoners' Rights Ecosystem." Annals Am. Acad. Pol. & Soc. Sci. 664 (2016): 62-81.
Full Text: Lexis | Westlaw | Sage (UMich users) | Sage | SSRN

"Intelligence Legalism and the NSA's Civil Liberties Gap." Law Quad. Notes 59, no. 2 (2016): 24-5. (Adaptation of article originally published under the same title in Harv. Nat'l Security J. 6 (2015): 112-205.

"How the ADA Regulates and Restricts Solitary Confinement for People with Mental Disabilities." Am. Const. Soc'y Issue Brief (2016): 1-18.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | SSRN

"Anti-Incarcerative Remedies for Illegal Conditions of Confinement." U. Miami Race & Soc. Just. L. Rev. 6 (2016): 1-30.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw | SSRN


Organizer, Prison and the Law Scholarship Roundtable, March 2017.

Presented "The Supreme Court and Prisoner Treatment Standards," Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, February 2017.

Presented "The Courts and Prisons," 9th Circuit Mid-winter Judge's Conference, January 2017.

Presented "Scienter and the Eighth Amendment," Vanderbilt Law faculty workshop, January 2017.

Presented "Teaching Civil Rights: The Constitution on the Ground," a daylong workshop for high school teachers, October 2016.

Presented "Security and Privacy in an Age of Terrorism," U-M cybersecurity conference, October 2016.

Presented "Prison Litigation Reform Act 101," Prisoners' Advocates conference, September 2016.

Presented "Decarceration and Disability," Prisoners' Advocates conference, September 2016.

Presented "Landmark Cases in Prisoner Civil Rights," U-M forensic psychiatry fellows seminar, August 2016.

Appointed to serve a three-year term on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers, November 2015.​