Richard Thompson Ford, a member of the editorial board of American Purpose, is George E. Osborne Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. He is author of the forthcoming book, Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History (February 2021).
An expert on civil rights and anti-discrimination law, Ford’s scholarship combines social criticism and legal analysis and he writes for both popular readers and for academic and legal specialists. His work has focused on the social and legal conflicts surrounding claims of discrimination, on the causes and effects of racial segregation, and on the use of territorial boundaries as instruments of social regulation. Methodologically, his work is at the intersection of critical theory and the law.
Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1994, Ford was a Reginald F. Lewis Fellow at Harvard Law School, a litigation associate with Morrison & Foerster, and a housing policy consultant for the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has also been a commissioner of the San Francisco Housing Authority. He has written for the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor and for Slate, where he is a regular contributor. His latest books are Universal Rights Down to Earth and Rights Gone Wrong: How Law Corrupts the Struggle for Equality.