Michelle McKinley is the Bernard B. Kliks Professor of Law. She teaches Immigration Law and Policy, Public International Law, International Criminal Law, and Refugee & Asylum Law. Professor McKinley attended Harvard Law School, where she was Executive Editor of the Harvard Human Rights Journal and graduated cum laude in 1995. Professor McKinley also holds a Masters Degree in Social Anthropology from Oxford University.
McKinley has extensively published work on public international law, Latin American legal history, and the law of slavery. Her articles appear in the Law and History Review; Slavery & Abolition; Journal of Family History, Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice; Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power; Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, and Unbound: Harvard Law Journal of the Legal Left, among others. She has been granted fellowships for her research from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and the Newberry Library. She was awarded the Surrency Prize in 2011 for her article, "Fractional Freedoms: Legal Activism & Ecclesiastical Courts in Colonial Lima, 1593-1700.” In 2014, she was a fellow in residence at Princeton University's Program in Law and Public Affairs, where she completed a book on enslaved women in colonial Latin America using courts to litigate their claims to liberty.
Prior to joining the academy, Professor McKinley was the former Managing Director of Cultural Survival, an advocacy and research organization dedicated to indigenous peoples. She is also the founder, and former director, of the Amazonian Peoples' Resources Initiative, a community based reproductive rights organization in Peru, where she worked for nine years as an advocate for global health and human rights.