Kimberly Jade Norwood


Kimberly Jade Norwood

Professor of Law; Professor of African & African American Studies


B.A., 1982, Fordham University
J.D., 1985, University of Missouri

Curriculum Vitae




Beverly Owens - (314) 935-6482

Phone / Email

Phone: (314) 935-6416


Anheuser-Busch Hall, Room 561

Courses Taught

Advanced Civil Procedure/Litigation Strategies
Civil Justice Clinic
Civil Procedure
Education Law & Social Policy: K-12
Pretrial Practice and Procedure
Products Liability
Race, Education & the Law
Stereotypes & Biases: Unconscious Courtroom Drama
Struggle for Education in Black America: From Slavery through the Reconstruction


After law school Professor Norwood clerked for the Honorable Clifford Scott Green, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She then joined the law firm of Bryan, Cave LLP in St. Louis, Missouri as a litigation associate for several years before joining Washington University in 1990. At the law school Professor Norwood has focused her research on black identity issues, colorism within the black community, and the intersection of race, class, and public education in America. She has also created and developed a unique service learning program for which she has won several awards (both local and national) that allows law students to receive law school credit and high school students to receive mentoring and guidance for a possible future career in the law. The experience also involves actual court exposure before judges in their respective courtrooms. Watch the video to get a better sense of the courtroom experience.

As part of the law school’s Africa Public Interest Law & Conflict Resolution Initiative, Norwood has supervised public interest externships for law students working in Ghana and Kenya. Norwood has also taught law courses overseas at Universiteit Utrecht in The Netherlands, Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan. She taught legal research and writing for the law school as an adjunct for several years before joining the law faculty and she has also taught in the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) Program.

In 2012, Professor Norwood hosted a conference commemorating the 40th anniversary of a major desegregation lawsuit filed in 1972 in St. Louis, MO. The conference, "Liddell at 40: Commemorating the Desegregation Movement in St. Louis and a Look at the Future of Urban Education," celebrated the efforts of Minnie Liddell to bring quality education to black children in St. Louis city public schools. That lawsuit toiled in the court system for twenty seven years and ultimately became one of the the largest voluntary desegregation case in the nation's history. For more information click here

She also is both Editor and Contributor on a book, published in 2014 by Routledge, entitled “Color Matters: Skin Tone Bias & the Myth of a Post-Racial America.Click here to learn more about the book. To learn more about her larger work, click here. She also attended conferences at the White House and the Department of Justice focused on the cycle of incarceration and debtor prisons. For more on the conferences, click here. An international colorism entitled "Global Perspectives on Colorism," organized by Professor Norwood and the Whitney R Harris World Law Institute, was held at the law school in April of 2015. It is believed to be the first international colorism conference held on U.S. soil. Click here to learn more about the conference.

She serves as member of the American Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission where she also serves as Co-Chair of the Implicit Bias Committee. She is a member of a Missouri Supreme Court appointed working group on municipal court reform and is also a member of the Missouri Supreme Court Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness. She received the University’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 2015. She was the featured speaker for the American Bar Association’s 2016 commemorative event celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A portion of her 2 hour interview by American Bar Association President Paulette Brown can be seen here. Her next book, "Ferguson’s Fault Lines: The Race Quake That Rocked A Nation," will be released in 2016.

Norwood is also very active with her law students outside of the classroom. Click here for a great story on how Norwood and a former law school alumna trained and ran a marathon together.

Representative Publications

Forthcoming Scholarship

  • Ferguson Fault Lines: Legal and Social Reverberations (KIm Norwood ed.) ABA (forthcoming)

Recent Publications

  • "The Far-Reaching Shadow Cast by Ferguson", 46 Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 1 (2015)
  • "Why I Fear for My Sons," Op-ed first printed at as "This Doesn’t Happen to White People" (Aug 2014); reprinted in ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH as "Skin Color Still Matters" (Oct 2014)
  • "Implicit Bias Deserves our Explicit Attention," St. Louis Lawyer (Aug 2014)
  • "Color Matters: Skin Tone Bias and the Myth of a Postracial America" (Editor, Kimberly Norwood) (Routledge 2014)
  • Book chapter: "The Ubiquitousness of Colorism: Then & Now" by Kimberly Norwood and Violeta Solonova Foreman in Color Matters (Routledge 2013)
  • Book chapter: "Colorism & Blackthink: A Modern Augmentation of Double Consciousness" by Kimberly Norwood in Color Matters (Routledge 2013)
  • "Minnie Liddell's Forty-Year Quest for Quality Public Education Remains a Dream Deferred," 40 Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 1 (2012)
  • "The Civil War of Our Time: The fight for the right to an equal, quality education," National Bar Association, May 2012, at 28
  • "Mentoring is the New Extended Family," National Bar Association, Region VIII Newsletter, March 2011 at 8
  • "Three Examples of Using Legal Curricula as Tools to Promote Personal Empowerment," Vol. 7 Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan) Clinical Law Seminar 89 (2009)
  • "Adult Complicity in the Dis-Education of the Black Male High School Athlete & Systemic Failures to Remedy His Plight," 34 Thurgood Marshall Law Review 21 (2008)
  • Commentary, "President-elect Obama's Legacy of Quality Education for Our Children," posted November 6, 2008, at 
  • "Blackthink's Acting White Stigma in Education & How It Fosters Academic Paralysis in Black Youth," 50 (3) Howard Law Journal 711 (2006-2007)
  • "The Virulence of Blackthink & How Its Threat of Ostracism Shackles Those Deemed Not Black Enough," 93 Kentucky Law Review 133 (2004-2005)