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Michelle Wilde Anderson
Professor of Law


Michelle Wilde Anderson is a public law scholar and practitioner focused on state and local government, including urban policy, city planning, local democracy, and public finance. Her work combines legal analysis with the details of human experience to understand the local governance of high poverty areas, both urban and rural, and the legal causes of concentrated poverty and fiscal crisis. Her current research explores legal restructuring (such as bankruptcy, disincorporation, and receiverships) for cities and counties in distress—issues that affect not only Rust Belt capitals such as Detroit, but also post-industrial cities in California, rural areas in Oregon, and small towns across the Northeast and South. These issues are examined in her recent publications including “The New Minimal Cities,” Yale Law Journal (2014); “Detroit: What a City Owes its Residents,” Los Angeles Times (2013); “Making a Regional School District: Memphis City Schools Dissolves into its Suburbs,” Columbia Law Review Sidebar (2012); and “Dissolving Cities,” Yale Law Journal (2012).

Prior to joining Stanford Law School in 2014, Anderson was an assistant professor of law at Berkeley Law School.  Additionally, she has been a research fellow at the European Commission’s Urban Policy Unit in Brussels, an environmental law fellow at Shute, Mihaly, & Weinberger, and a member of the faculty executive committee of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at Berkeley Law. She clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Anderson is a member of the board of directors of the National Housing Law Project and the East Bay Community Law Center.