Email: rbender@skellengerbender.com


Race and Educational Inequity

Rita Bender

Adjunct Professor


Professor Bender began her legal career as a public defender in New Jersey and later in Seattle. She also served as Regional Director of the Legal Services Corporation. She has been in the private practice of law since 1982 and is currently a principal in Skellenger Bender, PS.

Having worked on education, voting, and other civil rights issues in Mississippi in the 1960's, Professor Bender has returned to questions of racial justice throughout her career, lecturing at schools across the country. In the 2009-2010 academic year, she and her husband and law partner William Bender were visiting professors at the University of Mississippi Law School, where they taught a course addressing the deliberate denial of education. They remain engaged with community groups working to eliminate racial disparities in many contexts in that state.

A member of the original Board of the Legal Foundation of Washington and also a Board president, she presently serves on the Family Law subcommittee of the Limited License Legal Technician Board created by the Washington Supreme Court to recommend implementation rules for Legal Technicians. She also serves as counsel for the Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct upon the presentation of cases brought by the Commission regarding conduct of sitting judges. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and a fellow of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. She conducts family law mediation and arbitration in addition to direct representation of clients.