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Michelle Wilde Anderson

Title: Assistant Professor of Law; Executive Committee, Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice
Tel: 510-643-3144
Fax: 510-642-1729
Email Address:

FSU Contact: Leslie Stone

Michelle Wilde Anderson is a scholar of local government and land use law. In particular, her research focuses on poverty in the context of local governance, fiscal crisis, land ownership, and the environment. With a focus on counties as well as cities, her work emphasizes the understudied settings of smaller cities, historic suburbs, and rural areas. Her current research focuses on methods of legal restructuring (including bankruptcy, city dissolution, and receiverships) for cities facing fiscal crisis.

Prior to joining the Berkeley Law faculty in 2008, Anderson worked as an Environmental Law Fellow for Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP, a law firm that represents citizen groups and public agencies in land-use and environmental law matters. She clerked for the Honorable Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Honorable Marilyn Hall Patel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. A graduate of Berkeley Law in 2004, Anderson earned the Thelen, Marrin Prize for Law Journal Writing and served as the Senior Articles Editor of the California Law Review.

Anderson developed a base of expertise in the fields of urban policy and city planning before law school. She earned a master’s degree in Regional and Urban Planning at the London School of Economics and Political Science and worked at the European Commission’s Urban Policy Unit in Brussels; an urban planning firm in London; and an organization dedicated to social justice in Connecticut public housing.

Anderson’s publications include “The New Minimal Cities,” forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal (2014), “Sprawl’s Shepherd: The Rural County” in the California Law Review (2012), “Dissolving Cities,” Yale Law Journal (2012), “Mapped Out of Local Democracy” in the Stanford Law Review (2010), and “Cities Inside Out: Race, Poverty, and Exclusion at the Urban Fringe” in the U.C.L.A. Law Review (2008).

Anderson is a member of the California bar.


B.A., Yale University (1997)
M.Sc., London School of Economics and Political Science (2000)
J.D., UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) (2004)

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