Deirdre Bowen

Associate Professor of Law
Curriculum Vitae


Sullivan Hall 433
(206) 398-4289


B.A., cum laude, Boston University, 1987
J.D., cum laude, State University of New York at Buffalo, University of Buffalo School of Law, 1990; Moot Court Board
Ph.D., University of Washington, Department of Sociology, 2002


Legal Writing
Family Law


Legal Writing I: Legal Writing, Skills, and Values (WRIT-105-B2)
Legal Writing I: Legal Writing, Skills, and Values (WRIT-105-B3)
Legal Writing II: Written and Oral Advocacy (WRIT-200-D)


Dr. Deirdre Bowen is a nationally recognized expert in affirmative action, nontraditional families, and the legal system. Her work has been widely published and cited. She teaches in the law school's No. 1 ranked Legal Writing Program and also teaches family law. In addition, she is the co-director and founder of the Madrid Study Abroad Program in Law & Policy, where she teaches Comparative Family Law.

She graduated cum laude and with honors from Boston University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Philosophy. She then attended the University of Buffalo School of Law, graduating cum laude and winning the Adolph Homberger award for excellence in Civil Procedure. In Washington, D.C., Dr. Bowen practiced complex litigation at Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge and worked as the lead negotiator at Call For Action, a national consumer protection organization. There, she negotiated the largest settlement for consumer fraud in the history of the organization.

After four years of practicing law, Dr. Bowen pursued her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Washington, where she was awarded the Norman S. Hayner prize for Criminology. Her dissertation featured groundbreaking work on plea bargaining. She began her teaching career as a visiting professor at the University of Washington, Bothell and then moved to Seattle University's sociology and criminology department, where she taught courses in statistics, research design, deviance and social control, and family and society.

Her research on the legal system, nontraditional families, and affirmative action has been published in the top law journals in the country. Her work has garnered awards, such as Best Paper at the National People of Color Conference, been quoted in The New York Times, republished in textbooks, and been cited to in Supreme Court briefs and books— most recently by Professor Laurence Tribe. Dr. Bowen regularly speaks at national and international conferences. However, she is most proud to have been nominated teacher of the year six times and awarded this honor in 2007, 2010 and 2018.


Deirdre M. Bowen, "American Skin:  Dispensing with Colorblindness and Critical Mass," 72 U. Pittsburgh L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2012).

Deirdre M. Bowen, "Visibly Invisible," Chapter in Presumed Incompetent.  (Ed. by Angela Harris and Carmen Gonzales (University of Utah Press forthcoming 2012).

Deirdre M. Bowen, "Going Beyond the Casebook in the Family Law Classroom," Chapter in Vulnerable Populations and Transformative Law Teaching:  A Critical Reader. (Ed. by Raquel Aldana, Steven Bender, Olympia Duhart, Michele Benedetto Neitz, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Hari Osofsky, and Hazel Weizer (Carolina Academic Press 2012).

Deirdre M. Bowen, "Meeting Across the River:  Why Affirmative Action Needs Both Class and Race - A Response to Richard Sander," 88 Den. L. Rev. 751 (2011).