Maurice R. Dyson

Professor of Law

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Following graduation from Columbia Law School as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Professor Dyson practiced law with the firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions, securities and leverage buyouts valued over $166 billion. Professor Dyson has also participated in landmark pro bono school finance litigation winning a $14 billion judgment that was upheld on appeal. He also led federal civil rights enforcement as the Special Projects team attorney for the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) where he was recognized for his work in inter-district equitable school funding enforcement. He is a member of the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, registered counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Professor Dyson has also served as the national chairperson of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Education Law, the national executive board member of the AALS Section of Minority Groups, and New York program coordinator of the Merrill Lynch Philanthropic Foundation recognized by the White House for its pioneering ScholarshipBuilder pipeline program. He is also the faculty co-founder of the Crawford Legal Institute Mentorship Bond (CLIMB) program, an educational pipeline mentorship initiative with Crawford High School that won the California State Bar Diversity Award for Excellence. In addition, he has served as educational policy adviser to the Texas State Legislature Joint Select Committee on Public School Finance, a law clerk to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and has taught law on the faculties of Columbia University, Zhejiang University, Faculte' De Droit De L'Universite de Nice, the City University of New York, and Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law among others.

Professor Dyson is the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious King's Crown Award, the Kluge Award, the Albert Roothbert Endowment, the Lester A. and Stella Porter Russell Endowment, the Society of the Order of the Barristers, the Taft Samuel Carpenter Award for Teaching Excellence, and the 50 under 50 most influential law professors national list. Professor Dyson has also published Our Promise, and numerous articles in education, civil rights, criminal justice reform, game theory, government, constitutional law, sociology and critical race theory. Professor Dyson is also a visual artist, financial advisor and holds multiple licensure and certifications in retirement income strategies, elder law care and complex legacy estate planning.

Bar admittance

New York


  • Criminal Law; Evidence; Education, Equity & the Law; Artificial Intelligence, Technology & the Law.

Professional activities

  • Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States of America
  • Columbia Law School Alumni Association
  • Columbia College Alumni Association
  • Columbia University Club of Washington, D.C.
  • Alumni of the Ivy League
  • Board of Directors, Mildred Quinn Foundation
  • AALS Executive Committee Member (2005-7), Section on Minority Groups
  • Bar of the Supreme Court of the State of New York
  • Bar of the New York Court of Appeals
  • Bar of the New York Appellate Division, 2nd Judicial Department
  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Order of the Barristers
  • Ivy Exec Hedge Fund & Private Equity Group
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • National Bar Association
  • Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association
  • Lawyers Club of San Diego
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • J.L. Turner Legal Association
  • Shankland Financial Advisors

Diversity in Arbitration: Proposals for Reform in Critical Civil Procedure Workshop, Boston University School of Law (2019)

Algorithms, Race & the Criminal Courts, Criminal Law Fellows / Criminal Law Fellowship Program, San Diego (2019)

Artificial Intelligence, Race and The Criminal Justice System, Suffolk University Law School (2018)

Challenging Artificial Intelligence Algorithms in Discretionary Decision Making, Touro Law Center (2018)

Disparate Impact of Algorithms in Artificial Intelligence, University of Dayton School of Law (2018)

Challenging Artificial Intelligence Algorithms in Discretionary Decision Making, Delaware Law School (2018)

Law & Society Meeting, Speaker, Feminist Judgements in Tort Law, Toronto, Canada, June (2018)

The Implications of Implicit Bias & Racial Discrimination Being Magnified In The Use of Artificial Intelligence, California State University—Northridge (2018)

AALS Annual Meeting, Speaker, AALS 2017 joint panel of the Sections on Constitutional Law and Poverty Law, On The Constitution in an Era of Increasing Inequality, San Francisco, CA (2017)

Beyond Stereotype & Slogans: The Time For Change Is Now, The Jeffersonian

Differing Opinions: Free Speech In The Law School, The Jeffersonian

Pursuing Excellence: Diversity In Higher Education, Women & the Law Conference, Moderator, sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson School of Law (2016)

Race, Poverty & Mass Incarceration, sponsored by the University of San Diego School of Law, the University of San Francisco School of Law and the Western Regional BLSA (2016)

Challenging Adequacy Notions in School Finance, Education Summit, National Bar Association, Washington University School of Law at St. Louis, St. Louis, MO (2015)

The More Things Change...: Exploring Solutions to Persisting Discrimination in Legal Academia, AALS Cross-Cutting Program, Washing, D.C. (2015)

Dismantling the School To Prison Pipeline, sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League & the Thomas Jefferson School of Law (2014)(in attendance Laura Duffy, US Attorney; Dr. Shirley Weber CA Assembly member; Paul Ochoa and Aida Castaneda from Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez's office; City of San Diego Commissioners Lorena Slomanson, Joyce Abrams, and Mark Dillon)

Dismantling the School To Prison Pipeline, KPBS Radio & the Anti-Defamation League (2014); Dismantling the School To Prison Pipeline, KPBS T.V. Evening Edition & the Anti- Defamation League (2014)

Dismantling the School To Prison Pipeline, Despierta San Diego, Univision & the Anti-Defamation League (2014)

Sixtieth Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, The Future of Public Schools, sponsored by the University of Missouri Kanas City School of Law & Michigan State University School of Law (2014)(with Jack Greenberg)

“50 Under 50 Outstanding Law Professors” National Honoree, Lawyers of Color Foundation (2014 Issue)

Fisher v. University of Texas Revisited, National Association of College and University Attorneys, Chicago, Illinois (2013)

Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Decisions in Higher Education, National Association of College and University Attorneys, Chicago, Illinois (2013)

The CLIMB Mentorship Pipeline Project: A Response To The School-To-Prison Pipeline Crisis, Public Interest Law Foundation, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, CA (November 14, 2012)

The First Amendment & the School House, 40 Years of Landmark School Speech Cases: Through the Eyes of Those Who Were There, UMKC Law School, Kansas City, MO (September 20, 2012)

Faculty Guest Speaker, CLIMB Program, Crawford Legal Institute Mentorship Bond Program, Crawford High School, San Diego, CA (March 29, 2012)

Race to the Top Initiative, Washington University Law School, St. Louis, MO (March 21, 2012)

The elimination of bias in the practice of law, California Foothills Bar Association, El Cajon, CA (January 9, 2012)

National Guest Speaker, Supreme Court Case Insights, The 2012 Term, National Association of College and University Attorneys, Chicago Illinois (June 29, 2012)

National Guest Speaker, Fisher v. Texas & Its Aftermath, National Association of College and University Attorneys, Chicago Illinois (June 27, 2012)

Guest Speaker, CLIMB Program, Crawford Legal Institute Mentorship Bond Program, Crawford High School, San Diego, CA (March 29, 2012)

Guest Speaker, Race to the Top Initiative, Washington University Law School, St. Louis, MO (March 21, 2012)

The elimination of bias in the practice of law, California Foothills Bar Association , El Cajon, CA (January 9, 2012)

The Pipeline: An Examination of Minority Male Recruitment and Retention in U.S. Law Schools, Black Male Initiative, City University of New York School of Law, Flushing, NY, (Mar 26 - 27, 2009)

Educational Finance and Funding, A New Wave of School Finance, Temple University Beasley School of Law, Mid-Atlantic People of Color Conference, Philadelphia, PA, (Jan 24, 2009)

Education and the Economy, Discriminatory School Resource Allocation in PICS v. Seattle School District No. 1, Northeast People of Color Conference, Boston University School of Law, Boston, MA, (Sept 25, 2008)

Racial Discrimination and Accountability in U.S. Public Education: A Closer Look at the Nation's Compliance Under The Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Treaty, Law and Society Conference, Montreal, Canada, (2008)

Brown Undone? The Future of Integration in Seattle after PICS v. SSD No. 1, Seattle University School of Law, Achieving Racial Diversity in the Classroom after PICS c. SSD In A Legal and Socially Responsible Manner, (2008)

Center for Constitutional and Humanitarian Law, American University College of Law, panel entitled “Discrimination in Public Education: Intent v. Impact?,” Discrimination in The Discriminatory Impact of U.S. Education Law on the Human Rights of Racial Minorities: Who’s Really Being Left Behind? (2007)

School Transfers, Charter Schools and School Funding, invited at the University of Toledo School of Law (Jan 29, 2007)

African American Charter Schools, Robin Hood & The No Child Left Behind Act: A Triple Entendre in the Battle For Educational Equality, presented at Florida A&M University College of Law (Jan. 10, 2007)

2007 AALS Annual Education Law Section Panel, conceived, organized, moderated and panelists selected by Maurice Dyson, "The Assault on Academic Freedom in the Academy: Exploring the Intersectionalities of Race, Religion and Gender in Higher Education" co-sponsored in conjunction with the Section on Minority Groups (Jan 4, 2007)

Choice & The Illusion of Choice, presented at Valparaiso University School of Law (Dec. 14, 2006)

Charter Schools, the No Child Left Behind Act: Avenues for Reform, presented at Thomas Jefferson School of Law (Dec. 12, 2006)

Reinforcing School Choice Provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act: Possible Solutions for Systematic Reform, presented at Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law (Dec. 8, 2006)

The No Child Left Behind Act & Wealth Recapture, presented at Drexel University College of Law (Oct. 20, 2006)

National Public Radio (NPR), Bob Zeeble, School Finance Takes Center Stage (Nov. 12, 2005)

WB Channel 33, Jennifer Dodd Reporting, Gov. Rick Perry Blames State Legislature, (Aug. 22, 2005)

Legislature Adjourns Special Session: Justices to decide if overhaul needed after bills fail in Legislature, DALLAS MORNING NEWS (Aug. 19, 2005)

Annual AALS Speaker: The Clash of the Titans: (Section on Education Law, Washington, D.C. (2006)

Annual AALS Minority Groups Section Panel “The Fate of Minority Inter-Group Collaboration or Conflict”, conceived, organized, moderated and panelists selected by Maurice Dyson (invited speaker for January 2006, Section on Education Law (2006)

Jason Embry, Lawyers for School, State to Argue Before the Texas Supreme Court Today, AUSTIN-AMERICAN STATESMAN (July 6, 2005)

The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., discussing “The Role of Education In The Poor People’s Campaign,” sponsored by SMU Undergraduate Office of Multicultural Affairs (January 2005)

Educational Experts: School Finance & Legislative Issues: A Talk With SMU Prof. Maurice Dyson (2005)

2nd Northeast Regional People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference: America, Race, and Law at the Crossroads, Hosted at The George Washington University Law School (Oct. 2004)

“Opportunity To Learn” discussing Dyson, Leave No Child Behind: Normative Proposals To Link Educational Adequacy Claims To High Stakes Assessment Challenges, sponsored by the University of California at Berkeley and the Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) (Oct. 2003)

The Resegregation of Southern Schools? A Crucial Moment in the History (and the Future) of Public Schooling in America, sponsored by the Harvard Civil Rights Project, the University of North Carolina, the UNC Center for Civil Rights, and the Thurgood Marshall School of Law (Aug. 30, 2002)

"School Funding and Educational Ultimatums: A Look At School Funding Implications For Public School Accountability", presented at The Educational Funding Deficit, sponsored by the University of Connecticut Law School & the University of Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal, (April, 2002)

Nate Reagan, Panel of Professors Discuss Civil Rights In the U.S., SMU Daily (Jan. 21, 2005)

Valerie Fields, School Board’s Resolution Difficult To Enforce, DALLAS MORNING NEWS (Oct.. 4, 2003)

CBS, Channel 11 News, Top Stories, Cliff Caldwell Reporting, Forum on Affirmative Action (Oct. 8, 2003)

Scott Parks, Moses Hopes Timing Right For End To Desegregation Order: Is DISD Ready To Move On, DALLAS MORNING NEWS (Oct. 31, 2002); Also carried by WFAA Channel 8 Network

Scott Parks, Will Whites Come Back To DISD? District Hopes End To Desegregation Suit Will Reverse Trend, DALLAS MORNING NEWS (Dec. 4. 2002). Also carried by WFAA Cannel 8 Network

School Funding and Accountability Mandates, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law (Dec. 15, 2001)

Testing, The No Child Left Behind Act and School Finance, Suffolk University School of Law (Dec. 12, 2001)

The New No Child Left Behind Act and Its Implications, Roger & Williams University Ralph Pappito School of Law (Dec. 10, 2001)

High Stakes Assessment, Title VI & Due Process Considerations, Vanderbilt University School of Law (Dec. 5, 2001)

STB Represents AOL in $165 Billion Merger with Time Warner (2000)


Artificial Intelligence, Race & Criminal Law Enforcement (forthcoming 2020)

Palsgraf v. LIRR Rewrite in Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Torts Opinions, Cambridge University Press (2019)

Excessive Force, Bias & Criminal Justice Reform: Proposals for Congressional Action, 63 Loy. L. Rev. 27 (2017) (essay)

Rethinking Rodriguez After Citizens United: The Poor As A Suspect Class In High Poverty Schools, 24 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol'y 1 (2016) reprinted in Civil Rights Litigation and Attorney Fees Handbook, Vol. 33 (2017)

Still Using The Wrong Yardstick: Measuring Quality by the Proxies of Rumor, Bias and Conformity, 31 Colum. J. Gender & L. 154 (2015) (essay)

Promise Zones, Poverty & the Future of Public Schools: Confronting the Challenges of Socioeconomic Integration & School Culture in High Poverty Schools, 2014 Mich. St. L. Rev. 711 (2014)

Silencing Race & The First Amendment: The Suppression of Student Expression & Curricular Coverage of Racial Identity and Ethnic Solidarity in K-12 Education, 81 UMKC L. Rev. 569 (2013)

Are We Really Racing to The Top or Leaving Behind the Bottom? Challenging Conventional Wisdom and Dismantling Institutional Repression, 40 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 181 (2012)

The Hidden Law: Uncovering the Spiritual Foundations for Transformative Legal Reform, 4 J. App. Econ.167 (2010) (essay)

Our Promise: Achieving Educational Equity for America’s Children (Maurice R. Dyson & Daniel B. Weddle eds., Carolina Academic Press, 2009)

Bringing Every Child Forward: Lessons Learned Under No Child Left Behind & a Road Map for Obama’s Educational Reform, 19 Temp. Pol. & Civ. Rts. L. Rev. 63 (2009) (with Philip T.K. Daniel)

De Facto Segregation & Group Blindness: Proposals for Narrow Tailoring under a New Viable State Interest in PICS v. Seattle School District, 77 UMKC L. Rev. 697 (2009)

When Government is a Passive Participant in Private Discrimination: A Critical Look at White Privilege & the Tacit Return to Interposition in PICS v. Seattle School District, 40 U. Tol. L. Rev. 145 (2008)

Awakening an Empire of Liberty: Exploring the Roots of Socratic Inquiry & Political Nihilism in American Democracy, 83 St. Louis L. Rev. 575 (currently Wash. U.L.Q.) (2005)

Towards an Establishment Clause Theory of Race-Based Allocation: Administering Race-Conscious Financial Aid after Grutter and Zelman, 14 S. Cal. Interdisc. L.J. 237 (2005)

Racial Free-Riding the Coattails of a Dream Deferred: Can I Borrow Your Social Capital? 13 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts J. 967 (2005)

The Death of Robin Hood? Proposals to Overhaul Public School Finance, 11 Geo. J. On Poverty L. & Pol'y 1 (2004)

Putting Quality Back Into Equality: The Constitutionality of Charter School Enabling Legislation in a Post-Grutter Era, 36 Rutgers L.J. 1 (2004)

Playing Games with Equality: A Game-Theoretic Critique of Educational Sanctions, Remedies and Strategic Noncompliance, 77 Temp. L. Rev. 577 (2004)

Multiracial Identity, Monoracial Authenticity & Racial Privacy: Towards an Adequate Theory of Multiracial Resistance, 9 Mich. J. Race & L. 387 (2004)

Safe Rules or Gay Schools: The Dilemma of Sexual Orientation Segregation in Public Education, 7 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 183 (with N. Harris) (2004)

In Search of the Talented Tenth: Diversity, Affirmative Access, and University-Driven Reform, 6 Harv. Latino L. Rev. 41 (2003)

Leave No Child Behind: Normative Proposals to Link Educational Adequacy Claims and High Stakes Assessment Due Process Challenges, 7 Tex. F. On C.L. & C.R. 1 (2002)

School Finance and Educational Ultimatums: A Look at School Funding Implications for Public School Accountability, 2 Conn. Pub. Int. L.J. 1 (2002)

A Covenant Broken: The Crisis of Educational Remedy for New York City's Failing Schools, 44 How. L.J.107 (2000)


  • J.D., Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Columbia University School of Law
  • A.B. King's Crown Scholar, Dean's List, Columbia College, Columbia University
Portrait of Maurice Dyson.

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