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Professor Lu-in Wang

Lu-in Wang

Professor of Law
J.D. 1986, University of Michigan Law School
B.A. 1983, University of Pittsburgh
B.S. 1983, The Pennsylvania State University

 Curriculum Vitae SSRN

Contact Information

 Ph.: 505-277-5877
 Office: 3115


Lu-in Wang teaches and writes in the area of anti-discrimination law. She joins the UNM law faculty after teaching for 19 years at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where she received the University of Pittsburgh Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award in 2001 and the Student Bar Association's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2000 and 2006.

Wang’s scholarship examines ordinary and extraordinary forms of discrimination and the connections between them. Her recent work explores the relationship between social and economic stereotypes and how the law reinforces their connection. Her latest project examines tipped service transactions as a vehicle for discrimination on both the customer and server sides, as well as the employer’s role in promoting that discrimination. Her book, DISCRIMINATION BY DEFAULT: HOW RACISM BECOMES ROUTINE (New York University Press 2006), draws on social psychology to detail three commonplace but generally unrecognized ways in which unconscious assumptions lead to discrimination in a wide range of everyday settings and how these dynamics interact to produce an invisible, self-fulfilling, and self-perpetuating prophecy of racial disparity. Wang’s earlier work examined more extreme forms of discrimination. In addition to being the author of HATE CRIMES LAW (West 1994), the first legal treatise on that subject, Wang has published several articles that apply insights from historical, sociological, and social psychological literature to illuminate the legal issues related to bias-related violence. Wang's articles have appeared in journals including the Southern California Law Review, the Ohio State Law Journal, the Boston University Law Review, the Lewis & Clark Law Review, and the Michigan Journal of Race and Law.

Before she began teaching, Wang practiced with firms in Chicago, Illinois, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, and as a staff attorney for The Center for Social Gerontology, a national support center on law and aging. She also served as a law clerk for the late Justice Ralph J. Cappy of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Wang is an elected member of the American Law Institute and The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.

Contracts II

This course follows from and complements the required first-year Contracts course, by both introducing new topics and exploring in greater depth and complexity some topics that were briefly addressed in Contracts I. Topics to be covered include justifications for denying or limiting enforcement of contracts (such as unconscionability), identification and interpretation of contract terms, policing of contract performance, remedies for breach of contract, and the rights of nonparties to a contract.

Along with Contracts I, this course provides essential background for more specialized courses including commercial transactions (such as sales of goods), international business transactions, employment law, family law, and others. It also addresses the topics in Contracts that are most often tested on the bar exam.

Employment Discrimination

This course will examine federal statutory law as it applies to discrimination in the workplace. We will focus on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its amendments; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; and civil rights statutes from the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, including 42 U.S.C. § 1981. The course will explore the substantive meanings of “discrimination” under these acts, the models of proof for establishing a claim, the theoretical underpinnings of the statutes, and some of the procedural and remedial issues relevant to employment discrimination law.


The course will consider the principles of law and rules governing the admissibility of testimonial and documentary proof in civil and criminal trials, including the concept of relevancy, the use of demonstrative evidence, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, impeachment of credibility, expert testimony, and hearsay. Traditional case materials, the federal rules of evidence, problems, and simulations will be employed to illustrate evidentiary concepts.

Evidence Writing Seminar

This writing seminar will examine selected topics in evidence law and policy from a more advanced, and often more critical, theoretical, and practical perspective than is feasible in the basic Evidence course. We will study some differences between New Mexico evidence law and the law that has developed under the Federal Rules of Evidence and similar state rules; examine current doctrinal controversies; and explore scholarly critiques of specific rules and principles, including critical or interdisciplinary perspectives on the traditional approaches underlying evidence law.

Each student will produce a substantial research paper on a related topic to be chosen in consultation with the instructor, and a significant portion of the course will be devoted to the development, writing, and editing of those papers, both during class meetings and in individual meetings with the instructor.


  • Students will learn specific differences between New Mexico evidence law and the law that has developed under the Federal Rules of Evidence.
  • Students will gain a deeper understanding of the principles and policies underlying selected rules of evidence and of criticisms of those rules.
  • Students will apply and develop legal research and writing skills by articulating and supporting a thesis with significant legal or empirical research.


Each student must complete a seminar paper on a topic related to evidence law that incorporates significant legal or empirical research and has been written exclusively by the student seeking credit. At least two drafts will be required. The first draft will be submitted to me, and I will return it with a detailed critique. Each student also will receive the critique of a classmate and will critique another student’s first draft. The final draft must take into account and seek to remedy the criticisms that I offer.

In addition to participating in class discussion generally, each student will be required to play a role in leading class discussion for one session, to present his or her own paper in a workshop-style session, and to provide written comments on a draft of another student’s paper.

Written work for the seminar will include at least one paper topic proposal; a detailed outline of and research plan for the seminar paper; a first (and, if appropriate, an intermediate) draft of the paper; written comments on a draft of another student’s paper; and a final draft of the seminar paper.

The final grade will be based on the final draft of the seminar paper (75%) and class participation (25%), which includes attendance, quality of contribution to class discussion (including as discussion facilitator during an assigned class), quality of work on assignments related to the seminar paper, quality of paper presentation at workshop session, quality of comments on another student’s first draft, and compliance with course requirements including deadlines. With respect to each student’s own paper, only the final draft will be graded separately on the basis of quality, but the student’s compliance with deadlines and other requirements related to the paper will be considered in determining the “class participation” component of the final grade. Work on assignments related to the seminar paper must show serious and substantial progress toward the final product.

Law & Economics

This course is an elective that is suitable for first-year law students. It provides an introduction to the economic analysis of law, a field that has had a significant impact on legal scholarship, judicial opinions, and policymaking. Economic analysis offers an intellectual framework to analyze basic questions, such as how scarce resources should be allocated, what incentives actors face in making decisions or choosing actions, and how legal rules affect and are affected by those incentives. The course will introduce basic concepts of microeconomic analysis, including, e.g., the concepts of utility maximization, external costs, efficiency and equity, the three types of “rules” for protecting entitlements, and public choice theory. We will apply those concepts to various legal doctrines and principles, most of which will have been covered by students in the required first-year courses. Our discussions will include normative and behavioral considerations and criticisms of the economic analysis of law.

The final grade will be based on a final examination, with class participation to be factored in on a plus/minus basis (i.e., a student’s final grade in the course may be “bumped” up or down from the grade on the final examination based on especially strong or weak class participation).


Lu-in Wang, At the Tipping Point: Race and Gender Discrimination in a Common Economic Transaction, 21 Va. J. Social Policy & L. 101 (2014).

Negotiating the situation: The Reasonable Person in Context, 14 LEWIS & CLARK L. REV. 1285 (2010)

Mary A. Crossley and Lu-in Wang, Learning by Doing: An Experience with Outcomes Assessment, 41 UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO L. REV. 269 (2010).

Morrison v. Department of Public Welfare and the Pennsylvania Revolution in Scope and Standard of Review, 47 DUQ. L. REV. 609 (2009).

Janet Schofield, Lu-in Wang, and Pat K. Chew ,and Janet Schofield, Culture and Race in Provider-Client Relationships, 23 J. HEALTH & SOCIAL POLICY 1 – 33 (2007).



Race as Proxy: Situational Racism and Self-fulfilling Stereotypes, 53 DEPAUL L. REV. 1013 (2004).

Unwarranted Assumptions in the Prosecution and Defense of Hate Crimes, 17 CRIMINAL JUSTICE 4 (Fall 2002).

Hate Crimes: Influences Of and On the Social Context, 4 RUTGERS RACE & THE LAW REVIEW 1 (2002)

"Suitable Targets"? Parallels and Connections Between "Hate" Crimes and "Driving While Black," 6 MICH. J. RACE & L. 209 (2001).

Recognizing Opportunistic Bias Crimes, 80 B.U. L. REV. 1399 (2000).

The Complexities of "Hate," 60 OHIO STATE L.J. 799 (1999).

The Transforming Power of "Hate": Social Cognition Theory and the Harms of Bias-Related Crime, 71 S. CAL. L. REV. 47 (1997).

HATE CRIMES LAW (Clark Boardman Callaghan 1994; Supp. 1995, 1996; 1997; 1998; 1999; 2000) - treatise on federal and state law concerning hate crimes.

Prosecuting and Defending Hate Crimes After R.A.V. and Mitchell, 1 CRIMINAL PRACTICE LAW REPORT 57 (Sept. 1993).

Anne M. Burns and Penelope A. Hommel, Trends in Guardianship Reform: Roles and Responsibilities of Legal Advocates, 24 CLEARINGHOUSE REVIEW 561 (Oct. 1990).

Penelope A. Hommel, Lu-in Wang and James A. Bergman, Trends in Guardianship Reform: Implications for the Medical and Legal Professions, 18 LAW, MEDICINE & HEALTH CARE 213 (Fall 1990).

Thomas P. Sullivan and Lu-in Wang, Selected Issues Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, FEDERAL CRIMINAL PRACTICE (Illinois Inst. Continuing Legal Educ. 1987).