Jyoti Nanda is the Binder Clinical Teaching Fellow at UCLA School of Law. She was also the past Co-Faculty Director of the Critical Race Studies Program and core faculty of the David J. Epstein Public Interest Law Program. She has been at UCLA School of Law since 2003. To date, Nanda has taught nearly 500 public interest minded law students.
Professor Nanda’s scholarship interests are in civil rights, social justice advocacy and the ways in which children and youth intersect with the juvenile justice system, with a particular focus on race, gender and disability. Her latest article, “Blind Discretion: Girls of Color and Delinquency in the Juvenile Justice System” appeared in the UCLA Law Review, is widely cited and served as one of the framework pieces for a groundbreaking report on Adultification, entitled Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood.
Five years ago, Professor Nanda founded the Youth & Justice Clinic at UCLA, to train students to holistically address the unmet legal needs of children in Los Angeles County. Last year, her Clinic was appointed by the Inglewood Juvenile Court to represent youth as their Education Right Holder, with the Alliance for Children’s Rights. She co-chaired a national conference with the UCLA Law Review, entitled Underprotected & Overpoliced Women, Race & Criminalization, in 2012 that brought together academics and community activists. She speaks to a variety of audiences nationally and in 2015, she was invited to speak at the White House Council on Women and Girls to create a national research agenda. The American Bar Association (ABA) nominated her in 2016 to serve as the Reporter (or author) for the forthcoming ABA Juvenile Justice National Standards. She currently sits on the Leadership Advisory Board of Children’s Defense Fund, California and the Los Angeles Countywide Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee on Youth Diversion.
In April 2012, Professor Nanda was selected by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for the prestigious Dream of Los Angeles Award, the highest award bestowed by the Mayor given to someone from humble beginnings who has had career success. In April 2014, she was awarded the SABA Public Interest Foundation Trailblazer Award. She has also twice (2014, 2015) received the law school’s nomination for the distinguished university-wide UCLA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award.
Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA School of Law, Professor Nanda was awarded a Skadden Fellowship 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/Rhetoric 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 as a clinic law student at the Children & Family Justice Center.
**Although established by the NAACP, the LDF has been a separate organization since 1940. LDF’s Founder and First Director was the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.