Dorothy A. Brown

Vice Provost and Professor of Law

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Expertise:
Federal Income Tax, Critical Race Theory, Corporate Tax, Tax Policy


Dorothy A. Brown is the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at Emory University. She specializes in federal tax law and critical race theory. She is well known for her work examining the racial implications of federal tax policy.  Professor Brown joined the faculty after visiting at Emory Law for the 2007-2008 academic year. She comes to Emory from Washington and Lee University School of Law, where she taught courses in administrative law, critical race theory, federal income tax and partnership tax, and was the director of the Frances Lewis Law Center. She also has taught at George Mason University and the University of Cincinnati.

Before becoming a professor of law, Brown worked as an adviser to J. Stephen Swift of the U.S. Tax Court, as an associate with Haynes & Miller in Washington, D.C., and as an investment banker at New York’s Drexel, Burnham & Lambert. She also was a special assistant to the Federal Housing Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Education: BS, Fordham University, 1980; JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 1983; LLM (Tax), New York University School of Law, 1984.


Select Publications


CRITICAL RACE THEORY: CASES, MATERIALS AND PROBLEMS (Thomson West 2003; Second edition 2007) (This book uses the case method approach and applies critical race theory to the first year curriculum: torts, contracts, criminal law, criminal procedure, civil procedure, and property. Professor Derrick Bell wrote the Preface to the second edition.)


The 535 Report: A Pathway to Fundamental Tax Reform, 40 Pepperdine Law Review (April 26, 2013)

Tales From A Tax Crit, 10 Pittsburgh Tax Review(2013)

Contested Commodities: What¹s Tax Policy Got to Do with It? (edited by Michele B. Goodwin) (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2013) 

Implicit Bias and the Earned Income Tax Credit in Implicit Racial Bias Across the Law 164-178  (edited by Justin D. Levinson and Robert J. Smith) (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

Teaching Civil Rights Through The Basic Tax Course, 54 ST. LOUIS L. REV. 809 (2010)

Shades of the American Dream, 87 WASH. U. L. REV. 329 (2010)

Race, Class and the Obama Tax Plan, 86 DENV. L. REV. 575 (2009)

Race and Class Matters in Tax Policy, 107 COLUM. L. REV. 790 (2007)

Pensions and Risk Aversion: The Influence of Race, Ethnicity, and Class on Investor Behavior, 11 LEWIS & CLARK L. REV. 385 (2007) (Business Law Forum symposium)

Taking Grutter Seriously: Getting Beyond the Numbers, 43 HOUSTON L. REV. 1 (2006) (Frankel lecture)

The Tax Treatment of Children: Separate But Unequal, 54 EMORY L. J. 757 (2005)

Fighting Racism in the Twenty-First Century, 61 WASH. & LEE L. REV. 1485 (2004) (symposium)

Pensions, Risk, and Race, 61 WASH. & LEE L. REV. 1501 (2004) (symposium)

Social Security and Marriage in Black and White, 65 OHIO ST. L. J. 111 (2004) (symposium).

Social Security Reform: Risks, Returns, and Race, 9 CORNELL J. L & PUB. POL’Y 633(2000) (with Karen C. Burke, and Grayson M.P. McCouch).

Racial Equality in the Twenty-First Century: What’s Tax Policy Got To Do With It?, 21 U. ARK. LITTLE ROCK
L. J. 759 (1999) (symposium).

The Marriage Bonus/Penalty in Black and White: Legislative Solutions, 16 N.Y. L. SCH. J. HUM. RTS. 287
(1999) (symposium).

The LSAT Sweepstakes, 2 J. GENDER, RACE & JUST. 59 (1998) (symposium).

Split Personalities:  Tax Law and Critical Race Theory, 19 W. NEW ENG. L. REV. 89 (1997) (symposium).

Race, Class, and Gender Essentialism in Tax Literature: The Joint Return, 54 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1469  (1997), excerpted in CRITICAL RACE FEMINISM (NYU Press 2003, ed. Adrien Wing )

The Marriage Bonus/Penalty In Black and White 45 (TAXING AMERICA, N.Y.U. Press, 1996), excerpted in FEDERAL INCOME TAX ANTHOLOGY (Anderson 1997, eds. Caron, Burke & McCouch); reprinted in 65 U. Cin. L. Rev. 787 (1997).

The Invisibility Factor: The Limits of Public Choice Theory and Public Institutions, 74 WASH. U. L.Q. 179 (1996).

Deconstructing Local Control:  Ohio's Contribution, 25 CAP. U.L. REV. 1 (1996) (symposium).fileadmin/faculty_documents/dabrown7/11_Bankr_Dev_J_625__1995_.pdf

Fiscal Distress and Politics:  The Bankruptcy Filing of Bridgeport As A Case Study in Reclaiming Local Sovereignty 11 BANKR. DEV. J. 625 (1995).fileadmin/faculty_documents/dabrown7/11_Harv_Blackletter_L_J_169__1994_.pdf

Faith or Foolishness (reviewing Emancipation:The Making of the Black Lawyer, 1844-1944, by J. Clay Smith, Jr.), 11 HARV. BLACKLETTER L. J. 169 (1994).


Dec. 10, 2012       How Home Ownership Keeps Blacks Poorer Than Whites;

Nov. 18, 2012       A Real World Approach to Diversity;

Sept. 16, 2012      Harry Reid has a Glass House Quandary on Taxes,

April 17, 2012       Let's Kill the Progressive Tax Rate System,

Dec. 3, 2010         End the Unfair Tax Break for Homeowners,

June 16, 2010       BP Right to Stop Paying Dividends,

Mar. 9, 2009         Two Americas, Two Tax Codes, N.Y. TIMES, Sec. 1, at A21.

Apr. 8, 2006          A Tax Credit or a Handout?, N.Y. TIMES, Sec. 1, at A23.

Jan. 25, 2004        In Sickness, in Health and in the Tax Code, N.Y. TIMES, Sec. 4, at 15.


Jan. 11, 2013       Need to Know, PBS Segment:  A Tale of Four Tax Returns.

Dec. 17, 2012      Why Not Raise Capital Gaines Taxes?; NPR interview.

Dec. 10, 2012      Fiscal Cliff:  Cutting the Untouchable; NPR interview.

March 12, 2012    Starting Point, Interview with Soledad O'Brien.

March 9, 2012      Need to Know, PBS segment:  Cleaning up the Tax Mess.

Sept. 2009           CNN International with host Hala Gorani.

March 2005          Jesse Jackson Show.


Dorothy A. Brown

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