Rachel Godsil   


Eleanor Bontecou Professor of Law

  • Degrees:

  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School B.A., University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Contact:

  • rachel.godsil@shu.edu
  • Tel:  973-642-8957
  • SSRN Site link
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Courses:

  • Property, Zoning, Planning & Land Use Policy, Constitutional Law, Civil Rights

Professor Godsil's teaching and research interests include civil rights, constitutional law, property, land use, environmental justice, and education. 

Professor Godsil is a co-founder and director of research for the Perception Institute, a national consortium of social scientists, law professors, and advocates focusing on the role of the mind sciences in law, policy, and institutional practices.  She collaborates with social scientists on empirical research to identify the efficacy of interventions to address implicit bias and racial anxiety.  She regularly provides trainings and lectures to a wide range of private and public institutions seeking to address the role of bias and anxiety associated with race, ethnicity, religion, and gender and provided trainings on implicit bias to state judges across the country on behalf of the National Association of State Judges.   Godsil is a lead author of the report:  "The Science of Equality Volume 1:  Addressing Implicit Bias, Racial Anxiety, and Stereotype Threat in Education and Healthcare" (2014) and A Tale of Two Neighborhoods: Implicit Bias in Environmental Decision-Making, in Implicit Racial Bias in the Law (Cambridge University Press 2011).

Professor Godsil also co-authored amicus briefs on behalf of empirical social psychologists in Fisher v. Texas and the National Parent Teacher Association in the Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District litigation at the Supreme Court.  She is the co-editor of Awakening From the Dream:  Civil Rights Under Siege and the New Struggle for Equal Justice (Carolina Academic Press, 2005).

Her recent property work focuses on gentrification, the mortgage crisis and eminent domain, as well as the intersection of race, poverty, and land use decisions.  In 2014, Godsil was appointed Chair of the New York City Rent Guidelines Board by Mayor Bill de Blasio.  After serving as the convener for the Obama campaign's Urban and Metropolitan Policy Committee and an advisor to the Department of Housing and Urban Development transition team, Professor Godsil co-directed a report to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan entitled "Retooling HUD for a Catalytic  Federal Government."

During law school, Professor Godsil served as the Executive Article Editor of the Michigan Law Review, was awarded the Henry M. Bates Memorial Award, and elected to the Order of the Coif. After graduation, she clerked for John M. Walker of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  Professor Godsil was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  She was an Associate Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, focusing on environmental justice, as well as an associate with Berle, Kass & Case and Arnold & Porter in New York City.

She joined Seton Hall University School of Law in 2000 and has been recognized for her teaching by being nominated for Professor of the Year in 2011, 2002 and 2003.  In 2003-2004, she was awarded the Researcher of the Year in Law by Seton Hall University.  During fall of 2007, Professor Godsil was a Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and she taught property at New York University Law School in spring 2009.



The Moral Ecology of Policing: A Mind Science Approach to Race and Policing in the United States, The Routledge Handbook of Criminal Justice Ethics (Jonathan Jacobs & Jonathan Jackson) (2016)

Awakening from the Dream: Civil Rights Under Siege and the New Struggle for Equal Justice, Carolina Academic Press (2005)

A Tale of Two Neighborhoods: Implicit Bias in Environmental Decision-Making, in Implicit Racial Bias in the Law (Cambridge University Press 2011)


Racial Anxiety, Iowa L. Rev. (forthcoming 2016) (co-authored with L. Song Richardson)

Why Race Matters in Physics Class, 64 U.C.L.A. L. Rev. Disc. 40 (2016)

Race, Ethnicity, and Place Identity: Implicit Bias and Competing Belief Systems, 37 Hawaii L. Rev. 313 (2015) (co-authored with James Freeman)

A Multiciplity of Interests, Columbia Journal of Race and Law (2012)

Implicit Bias in the Courtroom, 59 U.C.L.A. L. Rev. 1184 (2012) (co-authored with Jerry Kang et al)

Preserving Autonomy in the Face of Gentrification, Brooklyn L. Review Symposium (2012)

Protecting Status: The Mortgage Crisis, Eminent Domain, and the Ethic of Homeownership, Fordham L. Rev. (2008) (David V. Simunovich)

Race-Nuisance: The Politics of Law in the Jim Crow Era, 105 Mich. L. Rev. 505 (2006)

Environmental Justice and the Integration Ideal, 59 NY L. J. 1109 (2004)

Viewing the Cathedral from Behind the Color Line: Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Environmental Racism, 54 Emory L. J. 1808 (2004)

Expressivism, Empathy and Equality, 36 U. Mich. J.L. Ref. 247 (2003)

The Question of Risk: Incorporating Community Perceptions into Environmental Risk Assessments, 21 Fordham Urban L.J. 547 (1994) (with James Freeman)

Jobs, Trees, and Autonomy: The Convergence of the Environmental Justice Movement and Community Economic Development, 5 U. Md. J. Contemp. Legal Issues 25 (1993-94) (with James Freeman)

Note, Remedying Environmental Racism, 90 Mich. L. Rev. 394 (1991)


#PopJustice, Vol. 3: Pop Culture, Perceptions, and Social Change, (2016) (through Liz Manne Strategy with Jessica MacFarlane and Brian Sheppard in association with Perception Institute)

Final Evaluation of Halal in the Family Measuring Effects on Implicit and Explicit Anti-Muslim Bias, Perception Institute (2015) (co-authored with Emily Balcetis & Benjamin Gonzales)

A View from the Gallery: Oral Argument in Fisher v. UT Austin, 21 Poverty & Race (November-December 2012)

Implicit Bias Insights as Preconditions to Structural Change, Poverty & Race (2011) (co-authored with John Powell)

Retooling HUD for a Catalytic Federal Government: A Report to Shaun Donovan (co-Project Director), Penn Institute for Urban Research (2009)


Stuart Banner, How the Indians Lost Their Land: Law and Power on the Frontier, 27, pp 462-464, Cambridge: Harvard University Press (2009)

Michael J. Klarman 'From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality' Law and History Review, 25, pp 667-640, Cambridge U. Press (2007)