Northeastern Law Welcomes Five Exceptional Faculty


07.01.21 — Northeastern University School of Law is pleased to announce the hiring of five exceptional faculty members: Melvin J. Kelley IV, Elizabeth Knowles, Alexandra (Xander) Meise, Rashida Richardson ’11 and Lua Kamál Yuille. “We are thrilled to welcome this group of stellar teachers and scholars,” said Dean James Hackney. “I am certain they will make exciting and substantial contributions to our Northeastern Law community, to our profession and to our rich academic program.”

Melvin J. Kelley IV joins the faculty as associate professor of law and business within the School of Law and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Kelley previously served as assistant professor of law at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. His areas of expertise include state and local government law, property law and legal theory. Kelley’s research focuses on the sociopolitical, geospatial and civil rights implications of decentralizing public authority, antidiscrimination jurisprudence governing real estate transactions and
community economic development tactics to redress enduring regional inequities in access to resources that enable upward mobility.

Kelley previously served as the first Elizabeth Ann Zitrin Fellow and visiting assistant professor of law with the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project (CRRJ) at Northeastern, and held professional positions with the Connecticut Fair Housing Center and the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut. He serves on the advisory committee for the College of the Holy Cross’ Slavery, Memorial and Justice Initiative and the advisory board of CRRJ. He received his BA in political science, economics and Africana studies from the College of the Holy Cross and his JD with Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar Honors from Columbia Law School.

“I am beyond thrilled to return to Northeastern, where social justice anchors our dynamic and innovative intellectual community’s engagement with law and policy,” said Kelley.

Elizabeth Knowles joins the faculty as associate teaching professor in the Legal Skills in Social Context program. She is an immigration and human rights advocate with a decade of experience helping immigrants successfully navigate our complex immigration system. Throughout her career, Knowles has assisted detained adults and children fleeing horrific persecution — experiences that fuel her desire to help bridge the access to justice gap that persists in our immigration system today. Knowles has practiced in both private and nonprofit settings, previously serving as executive director of the ABA Immigration Justice Project in San Diego, California, and most recently as director of the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic and clinical professor at the University of Akron School of Law. Knowles has extensive experience defending individuals from deportation in immigration courts across the nation, before the Board of Immigration Appeals and the US Courts of Appeals.

Knowles earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from San Diego State University and her JD from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Knowles serves on the board of directors for the ACLU of Ohio and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She is a member of the State Bar of California and the US Courts of Appeals for the Sixth and Ninth Circuits.

“I am excited and proud to be joining a law school and faculty renowned for its commitment to social justice and to guiding and equipping students with the tools they need to be excellent advocates and changemakers for good in society. I think I will feel right at home here!” said Knowles.

Alexandra (Xander) Meise joins the faculty as associate teaching professor in the Legal Skills in Social Context program. Meise researches the intersection of public and private international law, with a focus on the limits of sovereign power in emergency contexts. She is particularly interested in the contributions of democratic governance and economic development to rule of law and national security policy. Meise comes to Northeastern from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, where she served as a senior fellow at its Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law. Previously, Meise spent over a decade in practice preventing and resolving international disputes, including representing and advising sovereign governments and human rights victims in US courts, in treaty-based international arbitrations and public international law disputes, and in designing and implementing legal reforms and human rights best practices, as well as serving judicial chambers of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.

Meise has taught at Georgetown University Law Center (GULC) and was a non-resident fellow of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment. She is a political partner of the Truman National Security Project and holds degrees from Dartmouth College, Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and GULC.

Rashida Richardson ’11 joins the faculty as assistant professor of law and political science within the School of Law and the Department of Political Science within the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. She specializes in race, emerging technologies and the law and is a senior fellow in the Digital Innovation and Democracy Initiative at the German Marshall Fund. Her research focuses on the social and civil rights implications of data-driven technologies, including artificial intelligence, and develops policy interventions and regulatory strategies regarding data-driven technologies, government surveillance, racial discrimination and the technology sector.

Richardson previously served as a visiting scholar at Rutgers Law School and Rutgers Institute for Information Policy and Law and as director of policy research at New York University’s AI Now Institute, legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union of New York and staff attorney at the Center for HIV Law and Policy. She serves on the board of trustees of Wesleyan University, the advisory board of Northeastern Law’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project and the advisory board for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, among others. She received her BA from the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University and her JD from Northeastern University School of Law.

“I'm excited to return to the Northeastern community, where social impact is a central value and interdisciplinary scholarship thrives,” said Richardson.

Lua Kamál Yuille joins the faculty as professor of law and business within the School of Law and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Yuille is a recognized praxivist, which is a philosophy that involves using her theoretical scholarship to inform her engagement in social change. Her current interdisciplinary work draws into conversation property law, heterodox economics, business law, critical pedagogy and group identity. Yuille’s diverse professional formation — federal law clerk, Latin Americanist socio-economic development lawyer, Wall Street corporate transactional attorney, public school teacher and pro bono immigration litigation practitioner — provides a strong foundation for her engaged scholarship on a wide range of questions.

Yuille began her academic career as a visiting professor at the University of Oregon School of Law and as a William Hastie Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Law School. In 2013, she joined the University of Kansas, where she served on the law faculty and in the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Yuille holds degrees from Columbia University School of Law, the Johns Hopkins University and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. She credits her most enduring education to the varied experiences she has had as a praxivist doing service all over the world.

“I can think of no better place than Northeastern—the cradle of accessible, liberatory legal education and scholarship—to be a partner in this next chapter of my career, where I bring to fruition my most innovative scholarly and pedagogical projects yet,” said Yuille.

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country and is a national leader in legal education reform. Founded with cooperative legal education as the cornerstone of its program, Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences. All students participate in full-time legal placements, and can choose from the more than 1,500 employers worldwide participating in the school’s signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experience to successfully practice law.

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