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Amy Wax

Robert Mundheim Professor of Law

Amy Wax

Amy Wax’s work addresses issues in social welfare law and policy as well as the relationship of the family, the workplace, and labor markets. By bringing to bear her training in biomedical sciences and appellate practice as well as her interest in economic analysis, Wax has developed a uniquely insightful approach to problems in her areas of expertise. Continue reading…


  • Civil Procedure
  • Social Welfare Law and Policy
  • Law and Economics
  • Family Law


RACE, WRONGS, AND REMEDIES: GROUP JUSTICE IN THE 21ST CENTURY (Hoover Institution Press/Rowman and Littlefield, May 2009).
[Available Here]

Articles and Book Chapters

Educating the Disadvantaged, NAT'L AFF., no. 31 (Spring 2017).

The Poverty of the Neuroscience of Poverty: Policy Payoff or False Promise?, 57 JURIMETRICS 239 (2017).

The Dead End of Disparate Impact: Recent Developments, in TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT AFTER 50 YEARS: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NEW YORK UNIVERSITY 67TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON LABOR (Anne Marie Lofaso & Samuel Estreicher eds., Lexis 2016).

On Not Dreaming of Affirmative Action, 17 U. PA. J. CONST. L. 757 (2015).

Diverging Destinies Redux, 112 MICH. L. REV. 925 (2014).

The Dead End of "Disparate Impact," 12 NAT'L AFF. 53 (2012).

An Incomplete View of Adolescence, 28 ISSUES IN SCI. & TECH. 8 (2012).

Supply Side or Discrimination? Assessing the Role of Unconscious Bias, 83 TEMP. L. REV. 877 (2011).

Disparate Impact Realism, 53 WM. & MARY L. REV. 621 (2011).

Income Integration at School, 169 POL'Y REV. 49-62 (Oct/Nov. 2011)

Diverging Family Structure and 'Rational' Behavior: The Decline in Marriage as a Disorder of Choice, in THE ECONOMICS OF THE FAMILY (Lloyd R. Cohen & Joshua D. Wright eds., Elgar Publishers 2011).

Stereotype threat: a Case of Overclaim Syndrome?, in STEREOTYPE THREAT AND UNCONSCIOUS BIAS: THE STATE OF THE RESEARCH (Christina Hoff Summers, ed., American Enterprise Institute 2009).

The Family Law Doctrine of Equivalence, 107 MICH L. REV. 999 (2009) (reviewing Nancy D. Polikoff, BEYOND (STRAIGHT AND GAY) MARRIAGE: VALUING ALL FAMILIES UNDER THE LAW (2008)).

Basic Income and Caretaker Benefits, 4:1 BASIC INCOME STUDIES, art. 3 (2009).

Norm Change or Judicial Decree? The Courts, the Public, and Welfare Reform, 32 HARV. J. L. & PUB. POL’Y 45 (2009).

The Discriminating Mind: Define It, Prove It, 40 U. CONN. L. REV. 979 (2008).

Musical Chairs and Tall Buildings: Teaching Poverty Law in the 21st Century, 34 FORDHAM URB. L.J. 1363 (2007).

Engines of Inequality: Race, Class, and Family Structure, 41 FAM. L.Q. 567 (2007).

Traditionalism, Pluralism, and Same-Sex Marriage, 59 RUTGERS L. REV. 377 (2007).

The Political Psychology of Redistribution: Implications for Welfare Reform, in WELFARE REFORM AND POLITICAL THEORY (Lawrence M. Mead & Christopher Beem eds., Sage Foundation Press 2005).

The Conservative’s Dilemma: Social Science, Social Change, and Traditional Institutions, 42 SAN DIEGO L. REV. 1059 (2005).

Evolution and the Bounds of Human Nature, 23 LAW & PHIL. 527 (2004).

Family Friendly Workplace Reform: Prospects for Change, in 596 ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE 36 (2004).

Converted or Unconverted: To Whom Shall we Preach?, 12 COLUM. J. GENDER & L. 546 (2003).

More publications can be found here.

Working Papers

Is the Family-Friendly Workplace Possible? Dynamic computer simulations using a game-theoretic model

Be All You Can Be: Data-Driven Human Capital Policy (with James Heckman)

What Teenage Girls Want: Evolution, Sex Selection, and Feminist Legal Theory

Consumer Bankruptcy as Social Welfare (with David Skeel)

Choice and Coercion in Feminist Theory: The Case of Women in Science Careers (forthcoming)

The Law and Neuroscience of Deprivation (with Martha Farah) (forthcoming)

Against Perversity: Horizontal Equity and Poor Relief (forthcoming)

Religious vs. Secular Reservations about Same-Sex Marriage: A Comparative Analysis (forthcoming)

Research Areas

  • Social Welfare Law and Policy
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • The Law and Economics of Work and Family
  • Remedies
  • Social Science and Law
  • Evolutionary Psychology and Law


Penn Law - Robert Mundheim Professor of Law (2007- ); Professor of Law (2001-07); Visiting Professor (2000)

Office of the Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. - Assistant to the Solicitor General (1988-94)

University of Virginia Law School - Class of 1948 Professor of Scholarly Research in Law (2000-01); Professor (1999-2000); Associate Professor (1994-99)

Law Clerk to the Honorable Abner J. Mikva, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, (1987-88)

Consulting Neurologist, Bronx Cross County Clinic, Bronx, New York, and Brooklyn North Medical Group (1985-87)

Resident in Neurology, New York Hospital - Cornell Medical Center (1982-85)


  • Civil Procedure
  • Labor Law
  • Social Welfare Law & Policy
  • Remedies
  • Law and Economics of Work and Family
  • Supreme Court Practice and Process

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