Photo: Sonia M.  Gipson Rankin

Sonia M.  Gipson Rankin

Professor of Law

  • Ice Cold Caller Award, UNM Law Student Bar Association, 2021


  • B.S. Morgan State University, Computer Science, summa cum laude
  • J.D. University of Illinois College of Law
  • Member, New Mexico Bar
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Recipient of Professor Pamela Burgy Minzner Award for Faculty Excellence & Professionalism

Contact Information

 Ph.: 505-277-1266
 Office: 3213


Sonia Gipson Rankin teaches in the fields of Torts, Family Law, Technology and the Law, Assisted Reproductive Technologies & the Law, CyberTorts, and Race and Law. Professor Gipson Rankin’s work combines her computer science background with her passion for legal justice. Her work focuses on all things innovation, particularly related to technology, the family, and legal education. Her 2021 article, “Technological Tethereds: Potential Impact of Untrustworthy Artificial Intelligence in Criminal Justice Risk Assessment Instruments,” was published in the Washington and Lee Law Review and explored the impact of cyberattacks and the unintended consequences of unmonitored AI on criminal justice risk assessment instruments. Her 2023 article, “The MiDAS Touch: Atuahene’s “Stategraft” and the Implications of Unregulated Artificial Intelligence,” was published in the New York Law Review Online and discussed a faulty algorithm in Michigan that illegally garnished money from citizens. Additionally, Professor Gipson Rankin has written about legal pedagogy focusing on race and family law issues and this work appears in the Connecticut Law Review and Family Law Quarterly.

Professor Gipson Rankin is a member of the Interdisciplinary Working Group on Algorithmic Justice—a collaboration of computer scientists, legal scholars, and social scientists from New Mexico who provide insight to attorneys and government officials on issues related to artificial intelligence. She has had numerous speaking engagements, including at the Association of American Law School’s Annual Meeting; the American Constitution Society; the University of Connecticut School of Law; Brown University; the National Center for State Courts; the Law and Society Conference in Lisbon, Portugal; Defense Threat Reduction Agency; Kirtland Air Force Base; and the Santa Fe Institute. Professor Gipson Rankin regularly presents on topics such as AI, kinship care, criminal justice reform, implicit bias, inclusive leadership, and Black community empowerment. Regarding these issues and others, Professor Gipson Rankin has been quoted in numerous media outlets, including BBC World News, Reuters, National Public Radio, and Yahoo!Finance.

Before joining the University of New Mexico School of Law faculty, Professor Gipson Rankin served as the Associate Dean for Curriculum and Program Development in University College and as a Senior Lecturer in Africana Studies, both at UNM. In 2016, Professor Gipson Rankin was named one of 10 Outstanding First-Year Advocates by the National Resource Center for her work related to first-year college students. In 2018, she was honored as a Woman of Influence Award by the Albuquerque Business Journal and was the recipient of the Garrett W. Flickinger Faculty Excellence Award for 2021-2022. In 2022, she became a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and was awarded a Women in STEM Award by Advance at UNM and the UNM Office of the Vice President for Research. In 2023, she received the Professor Pamela Burgy Minzner Award for Faculty Excellence & Professionalism. She is former President of the New Mexico Black Lawyers Association and a member of the NM Supreme Court Commission on Equity and Justice. Her mission is to inspire students, communities, and systems to seek justice with a spirit of excellence. And to read comic books.

In the News


  • Assisted Reproductive Technology & the Law
  • CyberTorts
  • Family Law
  • Lab: Professional Identity Development
  • Technology & the Law
  • Torts



Sonia Gipson Rankin & Melanie E. Moses, AI is here. Here’s how New Mexicans can prepare, Albuquerque Business First 1 (2023).

Available at: UNM-DR

The MIDAS Touch: Atuahene's "Stategraft" and Unregulated Artificial Intelligence, 98 NYU Law Review Online 225 (2023).
Available at: UNM-DR

What's (Race in the) Law Got to Do With It: Incorporating Race in Legal Curriculum, 54 Conn. L. Rev. 923 (2022)
Available at: UNM-DR

Would You Make It to the Future? Teaching Race in an Assisted Reproductive Technologies and the Law Classroom, 56 FAM. L.Q. 1 (2022).
Available at: UNM-DR

Creating Lightbulb Moments: Developing Higher-Order Thinking in Family Law Classrooms Through Court Observations, 51.1 J.L. & EDUC. 17 (Spring 2022). 
Available at: UNM-DR

Technological Tethereds: Potential Impact of Untrustworthy Artificial Intelligence in Criminal Justice Risk Assessment Instruments, 78.2 WASH & LEE L. REV. (Spring 2021).
Available at: UNM-DR

Black Kinship Circles in the 21st Century: Survey of Recent Child Welfare Reforms and How It Impacts Black Kinship Care Families, 12 J. CHILD & FAM. ADVOC. 1 (2013).
Available at: UNM-DR

Why They Won’t Take the Money: Black Grandparents and the Success of Informal Kinship Care, 10 ELDER L. J. 153 (2002).
Available at: UNM-DR


Regarding Docket No. FR-6111-P-02, HUD’s Implementation of the Fair Housing Act’s Disparate Impact Standard (Federal Register HUD-2019-0067-2823, October 18, 2019) (co-authored with Alfred D. Mathewson et al.).
Available at: Federal Register & UNM-DR


Who is Caught up in New Mexico's Criminal Justice System? Considering Race, Ethnicity, Class, Gender, University of New Mexico Libraries (March 2020).

Arcing Towards Justice: Dr. King’s 2020 Vision, Sandia National Laboratories and Kirtland AFB Martin Luther King Jr. Observance (January 2020).
Available at: UNM-DR

Improving Retention and Graduation Rates in a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Reinvention Collaborative RC20/20 Higher Education Conference (2018).
Available at: UNM-DR

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