Mary Louise Frampton


Mary Louise Frampton, Faculty Director of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice, joined the Boalt Hall faculty in 2001. She currently teaches in the areas of law and social justice, restorative justice, and legislative advocacy. She has also taught courses on critical race theory, empirical research on the delivery of legal services to low-income communities, and a Boalt in New Orleans seminar post-Katrina. She teaches and supervises student scholarship for the Scholar Advocate Project, a partnership with the Equal Justice Society that examines the intent requirement in discrimination law and envisions legal doctrine on race that is informed by societal realities and modern scientific findings.

Frampton’s research interests are focused on the use of restorative justice as a racial justice tool to dismantle the school to prison pipeline, reduce the over-incarceration of people of color in the criminal justice system, and help communities flourish. She is currently engaged in a participatory action research project in Greensboro, North Carolina using restorative justice approaches to racial healing. She helped found the Community University Research and Action for Justice (CURAJ), a collaborative effort of academics from several UC campuses with community organizations and legal groups in the Central Valley to promote community engaged research and to alleviate poverty in the most economically challenged region in our country. Her most recent publication is After the War on Crime: Race, Democracy, and a New Reconstruction with Ian Haney Lopez and Jonathan Simon.

For thirty years prior to joining the academy Frampton was a civil rights attorney focusing on employment discrimination. Early in her career she was the directing attorney of the Madera office of California Rural Legal Services. By federal court appointment she continues to represent a death row inmate in his federal habeas corpus action.

In 2003 Frampton was named a National Bellow Scholar by the Public Interest Committee of the American Association of Law Schools. The award honors projects that involve law students and faculty in anti-poverty or access to justice work.


B.A., Brown University (1967)
J.D., Harvard University (1971)