Leslie Bender

LESLIE BENDERProfessor of Law Emerita


Professor Bender taught constitutional law II, bioethics and law, civil rights: power, privilege and law, women and law, race and law, family law, special topics seminars in bioethics, contemporary legal theories, and for over a dozen years, she taught torts. She also directed the Street Law (high school externship) program. She is the “law” member of an interdisciplinary faculty team awarded an Empire State Stem Cell Board grant to design an innovative, multidisciplinary undergraduate course on Stem Cells for higher education institutions across the state. Professor Bender’s scholarship includes published articles on tort law, feminist legal theories, bioethics, assisted reproductive technologies, civil rights, legal education, and constitutional law. Her feminist torts scholarship is included in most torts casebooks and many torts and feminist legal theory anthologies. She is coauthor, with Daan Braveman, of Power, Privilege, and Law: A Civil Rights Reader (West 1995). Two of her most recently published articled discuss mistakes that have occurred while people were using assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) and the complicated issues of parentage that arise, particularly in light of gender, race, and genetics dynamics. Professor Bender’s current scholarship is on race and equality and on the frustrating lack of connection between law and justice.

Professor Bender graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Chatham University and magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Professor Bender served as a law clerk for Justice Sam Harshbarger, Associate Justice & then Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court and as an Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, West Virginia Attorney General’s Office. After five years of practice, she returned to school and received her LL.M. at Harvard Law School. She taught at Ohio Northern University Law School and Washington and Lee Law School. Professor Bender was a Research Fellow at the Five Colleges Women’s Studies Research Center in Massachusetts and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Arizona School of Law, where she also taught. Between July 2000 and June 2003, she served as Associate Dean. Professor Bender was awarded a Board of Advisors professorship from 2004-2007. She has been teaching at the College of Law since 1987. Professor Bender has a faculty appointment in the Women’s & Gender Studies Department and is a faculty affiliate with several other programs across campus, as well as at LeMoyne College, the Consortium for Culture and Medicine, and Upstate Medical University’s Center for Bioethics and Humanities.


  • Harvard University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Chatham College