Home Others Katherine M. Franke

Katherine M. Franke

  • James L. Dohr Professor of Law
  • Full-time faculty

JSD, Yale Law School, 1998
LL.M., Yale Law School, 1993
J.D., Northeastern University School of Law, 1986
B.A., Barnard College, 1981

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Fields of study
  • Family, gender and sexuality
  • International Law and Comparative Law
  • Legal history
  • Social justice and human rights
areas of expertise

Gender and sexuality law
Racial justice

Katherine Franke is the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University, where she also directs the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law and is the Faculty Director of the Law, Rights, and Religion Project. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Institute for Women, Gender and Sex Studies and the Center for Palestine Studies. She is one of the country's leading scholars writing on law, race, religion and rights. Franke is also the founder and faculty director of the Law, Rights, and Religion Project, a think tank based at Columbia Law School that develops guidelines and thought leaders on the complex interactions between religious freedom and other fundamental rights. In 2021, Professor Franke started the ERA project, a think tank for law and politics to develop scientifically based research, policy papers, expert advice and strategic guidance on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the US Constitution and the role of the US Constitution ERA in promoting the greater cause of gender justice.

Your latest book, Repair: Keeping the promise of abolition (Haymarket, 2019) advocates racial redress today, telling the story of experiments in South Carolina and Mississippi in the 1860s in which freed land was specifically given as redress for enslavement and then taken away by the government. Married: The Dangers of Marriage Equality (NYU Press, 2015) looked at the cost of marriage for same-sex couples today and for African Americans at the end of the Civil War. In 2011 Franke received a Guggenheim grant to do research for Married . In addition to her work at the law school, she worked regularly in Palestine until the State of Israel forbade her to re-enter the country in spring 2018, citing her advocacy for the human rights of the Palestinians. She also serves on the board of directors of the Center for Constitutional Rights, based in New York City.

Prior to joining law school, Franke was an associate professor of law at Fordham Law School and the University of Arizona College of Law. From 1990 to 1991 she was the executive director of the National Lawyers Guild. She previously worked for the New York City Commission on Human Rights and founded the AIDS and Employment Project.

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Scholarly Articles

Further publications can be found in the Center for Gender and Sexuality and on Prof. Frankes SSRN page .

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