Professor Michele Bratcher Goodwin is the Linda D. & Timothy J. O’Neill Professor of Constitutional Law and Global Health Policy. She is the Co-Faculty Director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. Professor Goodwin previously was a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Irvine and founding director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy. She was the Abraham Pinanski Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and is a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Goodwin is the 2023 recipient of the California Women’s Law Center Pursuit of Justice Award. In 2022, the American Bar Association recognized her with the Margaret Brent Award. In 2020-21, she was bestowed the Distinguished Senior Faculty Award for Research, the highest honor bestowed by the University of California. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute as well as an elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Hastings Center (the organization central to the founding of bioethics).

Research and Scholarship Distinction:

Dr. Goodwin is credited with helping to establish and shape the health law field. She is an acclaimed bioethicist, constitutional law scholar, and prolific author. She directed the first ABA accredited health law program in the nation and established the first law center focused on race and bioethics. Her scholarship appears in the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, Chicago Law Review, Cornell Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, California Law Review, Michigan Law Review, New York Law Review, and Northwestern Law Review among others. This dossier addresses legal questions related to freedom of speech; religious exercise; equal protection; due process; race and sex discrimination; reproductive rights; slavery; and LGBTQ equality. Her scholarship has been referenced by national media, legislators, and civil society organizations. She is the author/editor of six books, including the award-winning book, Policing The Womb: Invisible Women and the Criminalization of Motherhood.

A sought-after public commentator, you may find Dr. Goodwin’s work in print, radio, and television news, including at The Atlantic, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, Chicago Sun-Times, Vox, Politico,, Forbes, The Washington Post, and Mother Jones and appearances on ABC News; CBS News, NBC News; MSNBC, NPR, and HBO’s Vice News among others. Outside of the classroom, Dr. Goodwin is the Executive Producer of Ms. Studios, host of the popular podcast: On The Issues With Michele Goodwin.

National and International Leadership:

Professor Goodwin has long recognized the transformative power and value of education and access. Following earning her juris doctorate, she moved south and guided one of the largest southern school districts in the United States through desegregation, equity and inclusion efforts across 52 K-12 schools, more than 35,000 students, with an operating budget exceeding $350 million. She later served as an assistant dean at the University of Wisconsin to help galvanize equity and inclusion efforts, followed by directing university programs and institutes.

Professor Goodwin has authored or co-authored amicus briefs submitted to the United States Supreme Court as well as the Second, Third, Sixth, and Ninth U.S. Courts of Appeals. She has provided testimony to state and federal lawmakers and legislative committees and worked with state attorneys general or their staff on health-related matters in California, Illinois, Minnesota, and New York.

Professor Goodwin serves on the Executive Committee of the American Constitution Society. She has served on several U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committees, studying equality and access in technology, issues on organ donation, and currently on reproductive health. She was appointed an observer by the United States National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (for the revision of the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act). She chaired several sections of the Association of American Law Schools, served as a trustee of the United States Law and Society Association, and was the first woman to be elected Secretary General of the International Academy of Law & Mental Health. She currently chairs the Law and Society Association and the Fellows Council of the Hastings Center.


Professor Goodwin has won national awards for excellence in scholarship, outstanding teaching, and committed community service. Gov. Paul Patton of Kentucky commissioned her a Colonel, the state’s highest title of honor for her outstanding contributions to K-12 education. In 2020 Orange Coast Magazine named her one of 35 Kickass Women. In 2019 she received the Be The Change Award. In 2018 she was bestowed the Sandra Day O’Connor Legacy Award by the Women’s Journey Foundation. That same year, Professor Goodwin was named Teacher of the Year by the Thurgood Marshall Bar Association and received a commendation from the United States House of Representatives for Outstanding Teaching.

Previously, Professor Goodwin was the Everett Fraser Professor at the University of Minnesota, with appointments in the Law School, Medical School, and School of Public Health. Professor Goodwin has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago and University of Virginia law schools. In 2021, she was named the Provost’s Distinguished Visiting Faculty Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to teaching law, she was a Gilder-Lehrman Post-Doctoral Fellow at Yale University.


Forthcoming Works - Books

Michele Goodwin, Constitutional Law: Practice and Principles (West Academic forthcoming).

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

Michele Bratcher Goodwin, Rebecca B. Reingold & Lawrence O. Gostin, Abortion Is Health Care, 331 JAMA 557-558 (2024).
Michele Goodwin, She’s So Exceptional: Rape and Incest Exceptions Post-Dobbs, 91 U. Chi. L. Rev. 593-632 (2024). [WWW] [W] [L]
Michele Goodwin, Distorting the Reconstruction: A Reflection on Dobbs, 34 Yale J.L. & Feminism 30-39 (2023). [WWW] [HEIN] [W] [L]
Michele Goodwin, Opportunistic Originalism: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 2022 Sup. Ct. Rev. 111-190. [W] [L]