Lani Guinier (born April 19, 1950) is an American lawyer, scholar and civil rights activist. The first African-American woman tenured professor at Harvard Law School, Guinier's work includes professional responsibilities of public lawyers, the relationship between democracy and the law, the role of race and gender in the political process, equity in college admissions, and affirmative action.
She has been honored with various awards, including the Champion of Democracy Award from the National Women's Political Caucus; the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession; and the Rosa Parks Award from the American Association of Affirmative Action.
She has received ten honorary degrees from schools including Smith College, Spelman College, Swarthmore College, and the University of the District of Columbia. She has also been recognized for excellence in teaching by the 1994 Harvey Levin Teaching Award at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the 2002 Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching Excellence from Harvard Law School. In 2007 she delivered the Yale Law School Fowler Harper Lecture entitled, "The Political Representative as Powerful Stranger: Challenges for Democracy."
NOTE: Bio updated on June 14, 2011.
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