Tanya Washington, a native of the city that bears her last name, is a professor of law at Georgia State University College of Law. After earning her J.D. from The University of Maryland School of Law she clerked for then Associate Judge Robert M. Bell on the Maryland Court of Appeals.
After practicing for several years as toxic tort defense litigator at Piper & Marbury, she completed the Albert M. Sacks Fellowship, the A. Leon Higginbotham Fellowship and earned her LL.M. from Harvard Law School. She has been teaching Civil Procedure I and II, Family Law, Education Law and Race and Law at Georgia State for the past twelve years. Her research and scholarship focuses on issues related to educational equity, domestic relations, race and children’s constitutional rights.
Washington’s articles have been published in law journals across the nation, including: the Harvard Journal for Race and Ethnic Justice, the Indiana Law Review, the Iowa Journal of Gender, Race and Justice, the Utah Law Review, the Whittier Journal of Child and Family Advocacy, the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal and the George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal. A self-professed activist and scholar, Washington has worked collaboratively to ensure that legal scholarship has a practical and positive impact for vulnerable individuals and communities. Her co-authored amicus briefs filed with the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges highlight the harmful impact of exclusionary marriage laws on children in same-sex families and they challenge states’ characterization of these laws as child welfare measures. The Obergefell brief was cited by Justice Anthony Kennedy in the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in that landmark decision.
A belief that the true value of the law lies in its capacity to improve the human condition animates her work, which has been presented at numerous conferences, programs and law schools including Harvard Law School, the University of Maryland Law School, Emory University School of Law, the University of Iowa College of Law, the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association, and the National Bar Association 2014 Presidential Showcase. In addition to her tenured position at Georgia State College of Law, Washington is a former adjunct faculty member at Howard University Law School where she served for more than ten years.
She has taught comparative law classes for study abroad programs in Brazil, Europe and China. Washington has also led pipeline programs designed to increase enrollment of students of color in U.S. law schools. These programs include: The Charles Hamilton Houston Preparatory Institute, The Justice Benham Law Camp, G-PLUS, and the Council on Legal Education Opportunity’s Six-Week Summer Institute. Her efforts to expand and deepen the pipeline of students entering law school earned her recognition in 2013 as one of 50 minority law professors under 50 making an impact in legal education.