Professor of Law
B.A., Spelman College
J.D., Harvard Law School
Areas of Expertise
- Civil Litigation
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedure
- Labor and Employment Law
- Legal Research & Writing
Professor Njeri Mathis Rutledge joined the faculty in 2005 where she teaches in the area of Criminal Procedure, Forensic Evidence and Legal Research and Writing. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English from Spelman College and earned her law degree from Harvard Law School where she served as technical editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. After graduating from Harvard she clerked for the Hon. John T. Nixon, Chief District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee. Professor Rutledge served as an associate for Baker Botts, L.L.P. where she represented clients in the areas of labor and employment, toxic tort and complex civil litigation for four years. Following Baker Botts, Professor Rutledge entered the public sector as a prosecutor for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office for over three years. During her years as a prosecutor, Professor Rutledge served in the Family Criminal Law Division, Juvenile Division, Misdemeanor and Felony divisions. After leaving the District Attorney’s Office Professor Rutledge spent the 2004-2005 academic year as a visiting professor at South Texas College of Law Houston College of Law. She has also served her community as an associate municipal court judge for over ten years. Professor Rutledge frequently speaks and writes in the areas of domestic violence, criminal justice reform, crime victim compensation, race and policing based on her personal experience, scholarly research, and work experience.
Professor Rutledge’s scholarly interests include criminal justice, criminal law and procedure, critical race theory, domestic violence, law and religion and constitutional law. Professor Rutledge submitted a formal written statement prior to testifying before the Judicial Proceedings Panel on Sexual Assault in the Military. Her law review articles have been published in the Maryland Law Review, Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy, Loyola Los Angeles Law Review, and New Mexico Law Review. Her opinion essays have been published in the Hill, Medium, and USA Today where she is a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors.
Show / Hide Bibliography
Real Justice for Breonna: Re-Envisioning Knock-and-Announce, 50 Sw. L. Rev. 419 (2022).
Walking the Tightrope: Reflections of a Black Female Law Professor, 43 Campbell L. Rev. 233, (2021)
Thoughts on Diversity Within the Criminal Justice System, 61 S. Tex. L. Rev. 489 (2021). [27th Annual Ethics Symposium Diversity in the Criminal Justice System, Transcription]
Employers Know Best? The Application Of Workplace Restraining Orders To Domestic Violence Cases, 48 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 175 (2014).
Looking A Gift Horse In The Mouth–The Underutilization Of Crime Victim Compensation Funds By Domestic Violence Victims, 19 Duke J. Gender L. & Pol’y 223 (2011).
Turning a Blind Eye: Perjury in Domestic Violence Cases, 39 N.M. L. Rev. 149 (2009).
A Time to Mourn: Balancing the Right of Free Speech Against the Right of Privacy in Funeral Picketing, 67 Maryland L. Rev. 295 (2008).
A Call for More Black Prosecutors, in Meeting at the Table: African American Women Write on Race, Culture and Community (St. Simons Island, GA: DownSouth Press 2020).
PRESENTATIONS & PROCEEDINGS
Paper Presentation, Employers Know Best? The Application of Workplace Restraining Orders to Domestic Violence Cases at the Southeast/Southwest People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, February 2014.
Panelist, Overview of Roles: The Structure of the Legal Academy: Responsibilities and Skills, The Southeast/Southwest People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference sponsored by SALT and Thurgood Marshall School of Law, February 2014.
Presenter, Students Gone Wild: Tips for Handling Negative Student Interactions, Southeast Regional Legal Writing Conference sponsored by Savannah Law School, April 2013.
Presenter, Students Gone Wild: Tips for Handling Negative Student Interactions, at the Biennial Legal Writing Institute Conference, May 2012.
Panelist, The Challenges and Rewards of Law School, and How to Best Prepare for a Successful Law School Experience, at the Eighth Annual National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair, November 2012.
Paper Presentation, Looking A Gift Horse in the Mouth – Victim Compensation Funds and the Underutilization by Domestic Violence Victims at the Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, June 2011.
Panelist, Racial Disparities in Law School, for Thurgood Marshall School of Law Diversity Day program in April, 2011.
Panelist, Endless Possibilities: The JD Examined, at the Rocky Mountain Regional Black Law Students Association Convention, February 2011.
Panelist, Family and Career Trajectories of the Female Attorney, at the Rocky Mountain Regional Black Law Students Association Convention, February 2011.
Panelist, Addressing the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) Achievement Gap: Keys to Excellent Preparation for Earning the Scores that Law Schools Expect from Competitive Applicants at the Sixth Annual National Black Pre-Law Admissions and Preparation Conference and Law Fair, November 2010.
Panelist, The Challenges and Rewards of Law School, and How to Best Prepare for A Successful Law School Experience, at the Fifth Annual National Black Pre-Law Admissions and Preparation Conference and Law Fair, October 2009.
Paper Presentation, Looking A Gift Horse in the Mouth – Victim Compensation Funds and the Underutilization by Domestic Violence Victims at the Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop, at University of Seattle College of Law, June 2009.
Panelist and Presenter, Dealing with False Allegations and Recanting in Custody Evaluations and Testimony, at the Association of Family & Conciliation Courts Domestic Violence Conference, October 2008.
Paper Presentation, “Turning A Blind Eye: Perjury in Domestic Violence Cases,” at the South Eastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) New Scholar’s Conference, July 2008.
Paper Presentation, “Turning A Blind Eye: Perjury in Domestic Violence Cases,” at the Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop, University of Denver, Strum College of Law, June 2008.
Panelist, Demystifying American Legal Education: How Law School is Radically Different from Your Undergraduate Education, at the Third Annual National Black Pre-Law Admissions and Preparation Conference and Law Fair, October 2007.
Panelist & Presenter, Do the Courts & Police Protect? Mandatory Arrest: A Necessary Evil, 2nd Annual Domestic Violence Conference: Battered Mothers & Witnessing Children: Failure to Protect & Conceptions of State Accountability. University of Denver, Strum College of Law, March 2007.
Liar, Liar: Perjury and the Battered Woman, Mid-Atlantic People of Color Scholarship Conference: Watching Privacy Disappear, University of Richmond School of Law, January 2007.
A Time to Mourn: Balancing the Rights of Privacy Against the Right of Free Speech in Funeral Picketing, Mid-Atlantic People of Color Scholarship Conference: Watching Privacy Disappear, University of Richmond School of Law, January 2007.
Liar, Liar: Perjury and the Battered Woman, South Eastern People of Color Scholarship Conference, Metarie, Louisiana, 2006.
Presenter, A Life Worth Living: Making a Difference in the Law, Inns of Court, Houston, March 2006.
Presenter, How to Pick a Lawyer, The People’s Law School: Center for Consumer Law, University of Houston Law Center, April 2004.