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 has been appointed as the new Director of The Ronald H. Brown Center of Civil Rights and Economic Development.  As the home of the country’s best law school pipeline program, the Center is also a leader in the fight against inequality and injustice.  The Center will continue to publish its outstanding Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development, to host symposiums and conferences, and to educate students about the importance of equal justice and equal opportunity.

Professor Chiu 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.  She is currently working on 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.

This past March, she participated as a panelist in the Social Media & Social Justice Symposium hosted by Pace Law Review.  Her panel discussed the need for greater government intervention in regulating and supplementing social media.  

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 many aspects 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 and Perspectives on Justice.