Jyoti Nanda is a core faculty member in the David J. Epstein Public Interest Law Program and was the 2012-2013 faculty Co-Chair for the Critical Race Studies Program. Professor Nanda has scholarship interests in social justice advocacy, civil rights issues, and the ways in which children and youth intersect with the juvenile justice system. Her latest article “Blind Discretion: Girls of Color and Delinquency in the Juvenile Justice System” appeared in the UCLA Law Review. Professor Nanda currently teaches the public interest section of the first year Lawyering Skills course, Youth & Justice - a seminar on juvenile delinquency, Problem Solving in Public Interest, and has co-taught several clinical classes including Public Policy Advocacy and Fact Investigation. In 2012, she co-chaired a national conference with the UCLA Law Review titled: Underprotected & Overpoliced: Women, Race & Criminalization. As a grant recipient from the Center for Community Foundation in 2008, Professor Nanda has worked on the Juvenile Justice Project, a collaborative endeavor with the Learning Rights Law Center focused on addressing educational issues and the racial disparity within the juvenile delinquency system in Los Angeles County.
Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA School of Law in 2003, Professor Nanda was awarded a Skadden Fellowship – one of 25 prestigious fellowships awarded each year and often called the “Legal Peace Corps” – to work as a staff attorney at the Los Angeles office of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF).* While at LDF, Professor Nanda helped file a multi-million dollar class action lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch alleging racially discriminatory hiring and firing practices.
Professor Nanda earned her B.A. in Ethnic Studies with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley and her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, where she served as Articles Editor of the Northwestern Law Review and was trained in clinical advocacy at the Children & Family Justice Center.
Professor Nanda currently serves on the Board of Directors for the South Asian Network (SAN), a grass roots human rights organization based in Southern California. Professor Nanda has served on the Board of the Asian Pacific American Alternative Dispute Resolution Center as the Pro Bono Chair for the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California. She also co-founded the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) Public Interest Foundation which awards thousands of grants each year to public interest minded law students and non-profits. And shortly after the events of September 11, 2001, she co-founded 9/11 Legal Response Network, an anti-hate crimes advocacy group based in Los Angeles.
In April 2012, Professor Nanda was selected by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City of Los Angeles for the prestigious Dream of Los Angeles Award. This is the highest award bestowed by the Mayor given to someone from humble beginnings who has had career success.
* Although established by the NAACP, the LDF has been a separate and independent entity since 1940. LDF's founder and first Director-Counsel was the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.