About Meera Deo

Meera E. Deo, JD, PhD, is Professor of Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law at the American Bar Foundation (2020-2021), and Director of the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE). She has previously visited at UC Davis School of Law, UC Irvine School of Law, UCLA School of Law, and Berkeley Law. Her research utilizes empirical methods to interrogate institutional diversity, affirmative action, and racial representation. 

Professor Deo was born in Garden Grove, California, to parents who emigrated from Mumbai and Karwar, India. They became naturalized citizens in 1995 and reside in Long Beach, California.

Professor Deo's book, Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia (Stanford University Press, 2019), draws from her landmark Diversity in Legal Academia project, the first national empirical study of law faculty utilizing an intersectional framework. The book examines how race and gender affect interactions with faculty and students, tenure and promotion, work/life balance, institutional support, and other aspects of the personal and professional lives of law faculty. Professor Deo’s sobering findings expose ongoing raceXgender inequities and propose structural solutions to improve legal education.

A proud graduate of Long Beach Polytechnic High School, Professor Deo earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with High Honors from UC Berkeley. While a University of Michigan law student, she was an Intervening-Defendant and member of the legal team supporting affirmative action in Grutter v. Bollinger. She practiced with the ACLU National Legal Department in New York and the California Women's Law Center in Los Angeles before pursuing a PhD in Sociology at UCLA. The National Science Foundation (NSF), the AccessLex Institute, and other grants and awards have supported her research. Professor Deo has served as a Senate-appointed Member of the California Commission on Access to Justice, an empirical research consultant to the ACLU of Southern California, and Chair of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Law and the Social Sciences. 


  • BA in American Studies, University of California, Berkeley
  • JD in Law, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
  • PhD in Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Professional Fields

Work History

  • Professor, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • Visiting Scholar, Berkeley Law, Center for the Study of Law & Society
  • Visiting Professor, UCLA School of Law
  • Visiting Scholar, UC Irvine School of Law

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