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Teaching & Learning

Radhika Rao

Professor of Law; Harry & Lillian Hastings Research Chair

Asks students how property law can be used to perpetuate racial justice or prevent it.

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Courses you teach

Constitutional Law; Property; Comparative Constitutional Law Seminar; Law of the Human Body Seminar.

Favorite thing about teaching here

I love my Hastings students! They’re incredibly smart, passionate about social justice, and aware of the real-world implications of legal rules. They challenge and inspire me to do better!

Classroom tactics for motivating your students

I try to connect abstract legal doctrines to broader issues and current events—for example, how property law can be used to perpetuate racial justice, or to prevent it. Recently in a Constitutional Law class, I introduced arguments about Senator Kamala Harris’ eligibility to be Vice President—specifically, whether she’s a “natural born citizen” under the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment—then polled students on whether they thought these arguments were racist (89% said “yes,” 11% said “no”). I then had them argue both sides, citing constitutional analyses. This prompted an incredible Zoom discussion!

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