Elaine M. Chiu

Professor of Law, Director, The Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development
A.B., Cornell University (cum laude),
J.D., Columbia University School of Law,

Professor Chiu is a member of the full-time faculty member as well as the Director of The Ronald H. Brown Center of Civil Rights and Economic Development.  She is a respected scholar who has written about some of the most difficult issues in contemporary criminal justice.  Her articles have examined domestic violence laws, the intersection of cultural beliefs and criminal liability, and the continuing struggle to deal with drug addiction in the war on drugs.  Her current projects include articles about child brides in the United States, infantile male circumcision and a proposal to bring greater access to information about restraining orders and histories of abuse and violence based on the existing access we have to credit reports and credit histories.  

In her work with The Center, Professor Chiu focuses on diversity and equality.  The Center advances legal scholarship through the symposium issues and students notes of its Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development.  The Center also works closely with law students on issues of racial, social and economic injustice through its Ron Brown Scholars program and the Coalition for Social Justice.  Finally, the Center proudly runs the country’s best law school pipeline program for college students of disadvantaged backgrounds from across the country every summer.

Until her appointment to the Center, Professor Chiu was the chairperson of the Planning Committee of the Northeast People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference.  This is an annual event that gathers legal academics of color from across the country to discuss issues and topics of importance to communities of color.  It is also a critical source of support for law professors of color in the different stages of their careers.  She led this event from 2007 to 2013.

Prior to coming to St. John's, Professor Chiu was a Research Fellow at Columbia University School of Law from 2000-2001 and a Climenko-Thayer Teaching Fellow at Harvard Law School from 1999-2000. From 1994 to 1998, she was an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan in the Trial Division where she specialized in both domestic violence and welfare fraud cases. Professor Chiu also taught as an Adjunct Professor at Yeshiva University's Cardozo Law School as part of their legal writing and research faculty from 1998-1999.

Professor Chiu is a cum laude graduate of Cornell University (A.B. 1991) and Columbia University School of Law (J.D. 1994) where she was a Senior Editor of the Columbia Law Review and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

Professor Chiu teaches Introduction to Law, Criminal Law, Family Law, Comparative Criminal Law, the Contemporary Criminal Justice seminar, Perspectives on Justice and the Lawyering course.