UW Law School has named Bernadette Atuahene as the inaugural James E. Jones Chair. The endowed faculty chair honors the late Professor James E. Jones Jr. ’56, who was a trailblazing labor lawyer, civil rights activist, prolific scholar, and committed professor. In 1969, he became the Law School’s first African American faculty member and, in 1973, founded UW Law’s William H. Hastie Teaching Fellowship. The James E. Jones Chair is UW-Madison’s first fully funded chair named for an African American faculty member.
Atuahene is a property law scholar focusing on land stolen from people in the African Diaspora. She is the daughter of Ghanaian immigrants who grew up in Los Angeles, California. She earned her B.A. from the University of California Los Angeles, majoring in political science and African American studies. She then earned her J.D. from Yale Law School, and her MPA from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She served as a judicial clerk at the Constitutional Court of South Africa, working for Justices Tholie Madala and Sandile Ngcobo, and practiced as an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York. Atuahene has worked as a consultant for the World Bank and the South African Land Claims Commission. Prior to joining UW Law, she was a law professor at IIT, Chicago-Kent College of Law, and a research professor at the American Bar Foundation. Atuahene’s teaching areas include property, trusts and estates, property and race, law and international development, and international business transactions.
As a law and society scholar, Atuahene said joining UW Law’s faculty is “an absolute honor given its rich history and remarkable reputation in this area.” Read more on the UW Law News website.