Renée M. Landers

Professor of Law and Faculty Director, Health and Biomedical Law Concentration and Master of Science in Law: Life Sciences program

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Professor Renée Landers is a Professor of Law, Faculty Director of the Health and Biomedical Law Concentration and the Masters of Science in Law: Life Sciences program at Suffolk University Law School in Boston.

She was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the National Academy of Social Insurance during her fall 2018 sabbatical leave. She was also the President of the Boston Bar Association in 2003-2004, and was the first woman of color and the first law professor to serve in that position. Professor Landers has worked in private practice and served as Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Justice during the Clinton Administration.

Professor Landers served as Chair of the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice of the American Bar Association in 2016 – 2017 and chaired the Section’s Nominating Committee in 2018 - 2019. She is a Trustee of the Massachusetts General Hospital and New England Donor Services and is a former Trustee of the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary. In 2019, she rejoined the board of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and became President of the Board beginning in July 2020. Recently, she co-chaired the Boston Bar Association’s Task Force on Judicial Independence which issued a report in August 2019. She was a member of the Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct and served as Vice Chair of the Commission from 2009 to 2010. She also served on the task force that drafted the revised Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct effective in 2016 and currently is a member of the Committee on Judicial Ethics which advises judges on compliance with the Code. Previously, she was a member of the Supreme Judicial Court’s committees studying gender bias and racial and ethnic bias in the courts.

An elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2008, she is Vice President of the NASI Board of Directors. Landers was a member of the Academy’s study panels on Strengthening Medicare’s Role in Reducing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, Health Insurance Exchanges, and Examining Approaches to Expand Medicare Eligibility. She currently co-chairs a study panel on Economic Security. She is the author of articles on the potential for Massachusetts health care reform initiatives to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health care and aspects of the Affordable Care Act. In addition to health care, Landers has written on diversity in the legal profession and privacy and is a regular commentator on legal developments in constitutional law, health law, and administrative law for media organizations.

In summer 2019, she was appointed to serve as an observer representing the ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice on a Telehealth Study Committee. And, after March 2020, she was appointed to serve as an observer representing the ABA Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice on a Public Health Emergencies Study Committee.

Professor Landers has served as the president of the Boards of Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, the Shady Hill School, the Harvard Board of Overseers, and has also served on the Board of WGBH and the Board of Overseers of Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She is a member of the American Law Institute and Phi Beta Kappa, and has received awards from Radcliffe College, Boston College Law School, Harvard College, the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, the Boston Bar Association, the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network. In November 2018 she was elected a Fellow of the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice


  • AB, Radcliffe College
  • JD, Boston College



  • Race (and Other Vulnerabilities) in Healthcare and Administrative Law, Notice & Comment Symposium on Race and Administrative Law (September 1, 2020)
  • Medicare's Current and Future Role In Reducing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, Health Affairs Blog (March 23, 2020) [with Bruce Vladeck, Bethany K. Cole]
  • Mischief with Government Information Policy, 94 CHI.-KENT L. REV. 593 (2019)
  • Assured Income, NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SOCIAL INSURANCE (March 2019) [with William J. Arnone and Peter Barnes]
  • Achieving Access to Health Care Coverage and Services to Promote Economic Security and Ability to Participate in Work, Pre-Conference Blog Post for Session on recent developments in health care policy, for National Academy of Social Insurance Annual Conference in January 2019
  • Practicing Dialogues about Difference: Using Multiple Perspectives in Teaching the Fourteenth Amendment, 62 ST. L. U. L.J. 701 (2018).
  • Revisiting Boston’s Role in Civil War in Wake of Recent Events, Book Review, Barbara F. Berenson, Boston and the Civil War: Hub of the Second Revolution (The History Press, 2014), Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (August 3, 2015).
  • The Denouement of the Supreme Court's ACA Drama, 367 NEW ENG. J. MED. 198 (2012)
  • Perspective, Supreme Court Review of the Health Care Reform Law, 366 NEW ENG. J. MED. 977 (March 15, 2012) [with Gregory D. Curfman and Brendan S. Abel]
  • Medicaid Expansion Under the 2010 Health Care Reform Legislation: The Continuing Evolution of Medicaid's Central Role, 7 NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ELDER LAW ATTORNEYS JOURNAL 143 (2010) (with Patrick A. Leeman, J.D. 2010).
  • "Tomorrow" May Finally Have Arrived--The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: A Necessary First Step toward Health Care Equity in the United States, 6 SUFFOLK J. HEALTH AND BIOMEDICAL L. J. HEALTH AND BIOMEDICAL L. 65 (2010)
  • Sexual Activity Between Minors, Prostitution, and Prosecutorial Discretion: What Difference Should Age and Sex Make, 53:3 BOSTON BAR J. 8 (2009)
  • New 'Diversity' Needed for Supreme Court Nominees, (with Lawrence M. Friedman), (2009)
  • Domestic Electronic Surveillance and the Constitution, 24 J. MARSHALL. J. COMPUTER & INFO. L. 177 (2007) (with Lawrence Friedman) (reprinted in Jilla Ramakistaiah, ed., INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE LAW, Amicus Books, 2009).
  • The New Federalization Movement and the Roberts Court, 42 SUFFOLK U. L. REV. 77 (2008)
  • Massachusetts Health Insurance Reform Legislation: An Effective Tool for Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, 29 HAMLINE J. PUB. L. & POL'Y 1 (2007)
  • A Marriage of Principles: The Relevance of Federal Precedent and International Sources of Law in Analyzing Claims for a Right to Same-sex Marriage, 41 NEW ENG. L. REV. 683 (2007)
  • Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose: The Representation of People of Color (and Women) in Boston Law Firms, 50:5 BOSTON BAR J. 15 (Nov./Dec. 2006)
  • The Unrealized Promise of Brown v. Board of Education, 48 THE METROPOLITAN CORP. COUNSEL 39 (2004)  (expanded version of Boston Bar Journal piece of same name).
  • The Unrealized Promise of Brown v. Board of Education, 48:3 BOSTON B. J. 2 (2004)
  • Use Year to Strengthen Profession's Rank, 30 BOSTON WOMEN'S BUSINESS (2004)
  • An Independent and Accountable Judiciary, 48 :2 BOSTON BAR J. 2 (Mar./Apr. 2004). Reprinted as Letter From The President Of The Boston Bar Association, The Metropolitan Corp. Counsel 64 (Mar. 2004) (arguing that the institution of an independent judiciary is an essential protector of individual liberties).
  • Pursuing Death or Realizing the American Dream, 48 :1 BOSTON BAR J. 2 (Jan./Feb. 2004). Reprinted as Letter From The President Of The Boston Bar Association, THE METROPOLITAN CORP. COUNSEL 62 (Jan. 2004) (criticizing Governor Romney’s creation of Council on Capital Punishment to reinstitute a “scientifically fail-safe” death penalty process for Massachusetts).
  • Billable Lives: Finding Time for What's Important, BOSTON BUS. J. 45 (Nov./Dec. 2003). Reprinted as Letter from The President Of The Boston Bar Association, Metropolitan Corp. Counsel 61 (Dec. 2003)
  • A Profession of Students, Practitioners, Professors, and Judges, 47 :5 BOSTON BAR J. 2 (2003)
  • Is Past Prologue?, 47 :4 BOSTON BAR J. 2 (Sept./Oct. 2003). Reprinted as Letter from The President of the Boston Bar Association, THE METROPOLITAN CORP. COUNSEL 66 (Nov. 2003) (essay considering the opportunities for the legal profession in reforming the Massachusetts court system and for ensuring that the responses to terrorism and financial scandals respect civil liberties).
  • Research in the Information Age, HEALTH LAW: TOPICAL INSIGHT SERIES (2002) (with Nancy R. Rice and Beth L. Rubin)
  • Rat Race Redux: Adverse Selection in the Determination of Work Hours in Law Firms, 86 :3 AM. ECON. REV.329 (June 1996) [with James B. Rebitzer and Lowell J. Taylor]
  • Prosecutorial Limits on Overlapping Federal and State Jurisdiction, Symposium, The Federal Role in Criminal Law, 543 ANNALS AM. ACAD. POL. & SOC. SCI. 64 (January 1996).
  • Reporter's Draft for the Working Group on the Mission of Federal Courts, Roundtable on State and Federal Jurisdiction, 46 HASTINGS L.J. 1255 (1995)
  • Federalization of State Law: Enhancing Opportunities for Three-branch and Federal-state Cooperation, 44 DEPAUL L. REV. 811 (1995)
  • "The Interaction of Law and Life: The Massachusetts Gender Bias Study Committee and the Committee for Gender Equality", in Five Years Toward Gender Equality: Reflections on the Work of the Committee for Gender Equality of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court 1989-1994 (March 1994).
  • Introduction to the Special Symposium on Issues in Health Care Law, 76 Mass. L. Rev. 107 (1991) [with Phyllis T. Baumann].
  • Gender, Race and the State Courts, RADCLIFFE QUARTERLY, December, 1990, at 6.
  • Bias in the Legal System: Not Just a Matter of Etiquette, MASSACHUSETTS LAWYERS WEEKLY, July 23, 1990, at 33.
  • Enforceability of Title VII Conciliation Agreements That Conflict With Collective Bargaining Contracts: EEOC v. Safeway Stores, 26 B.C.L. REV. 332 (1984)
  • Tenant at Sufferance - Ability to Maintain an Action to Enforce the State Sanitary Code and the State Building Code, 30 ANN. SURV. MASS. L. 165 (1983).

Book Chapters

  • The Experience of African-American Lawyers (Chapter III), in REFLECTIONS ON DIVERSITY. (Rudolph Kass, ed.)(MCLE 2014).
  • Invisibility, Isolation, and Resilience: The Inchoate Journey of Women Lawyers of Color, in BREAKING BARRIERS: THE UNFINISHED STORY OF WOMEN LAWYERS AND JUDGES IN MASSACHUSETTS (MCLE, Hon. Patti B. Saris and Hon. Margot Botsford eds., 2012)
  • What's Loving Got to Do With It? Law Shaping Experience and Experience Shaping Law, in LOVING VS. VIRGINIA IN A POST-RACIAL WORLD: RETHINKING RACE, SEX, AND MARRIAGE (Cambridge University Press, Kevin Noble Maillard and Rose Villazor eds., 2012)
  • Privacy, Theories of, in THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES (Paul Finkelman ed., 2006)
  • Rust v. Sullivan, in THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES (Paul Finkelman ed., 2006)
  • Health and Human Services Chapter in DEVELOPMENTS IN ADMINISTRATIVE LAW AND REGULATORY PRACTICE 1998-1999, 315-329 (American Bar Association) [with Darrel J. Grinstead].
  • Work Norms and Professional Labor Markets, in GENDER AND FAMILY ISSUES IN THE WORKPLACE (1997), 166-205 (Russell Sage Foundation 1997) [with James B. Rebitzer and Lowell J. Taylor].
  • Human Resources Practices and Demographic Transformation of Professional Labor Markets, in BROKEN LADDERS: MANAGERIAL CAREERS IN THE NEW ECONOMY, 215 245 (Oxford University Press 1996) [with James B. Rebitzer and Lowell J. Taylor].


  • Examining Approaches to Expand Medicare Eligibility: Key Design Options and Implications, The National Academy of Social Insurance (2020) [with Elizabeth Docteur, Bethany Cole, Marilyn Moon, and Cori Uccello]
  • Commentator on Role of Medicaid Expansion in the States, 2020's States with the Most and Least Medicaid Coverage, WalletHub, March 23, 2020
  • Co-Chair, Boston Bar Association Judicial Independence Working Group Report, Judicial Independence: Promoting Justice and Maintaining Democracy, August 15, 2019 As Chair of the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice of the American Bar Association, published four columns in the Administrative & Regulatory Law News, the Section’s quarterly newsletter. The columns addressed the following topics: the role of the Section in educating lawyers about the transition in presidential administrations in 2016 (Fall 2016); the role of administrative agencies in helping ordinary Americans based on an interview given by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D. Mass.)(Winter 2017); the role of the first administrative agencies created upon the ratification of the Constitution inspired by a tour of the Customs House Museum in Newburyport, Massachusetts (Spring 2017); and how organizations such as the ABA can serve as a vehicle for building community in a divided polity (Summer 2017).
  • Massachusetts Subsidized Catastrophic Prescription Drug Insurance Program, Health Law Section Newsletter (Boston Bar Association) (Legislative Issue, Fall 2000).
  • Principal Drafter, Domestic Violence Section, Report of the Gender Bias Study of the Court System of Massachusetts, Supreme Judicial Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 80 98 (1989) excerpted in Mary Joe Frug, Women and the Law, 573 84 (Foundation 1992).
  • Editor [with R. Michael Cassidy], "Commemorating the Tercentenary of the Supreme Judicial Court," 77 Mass. L. Rev. 2-64 (1992).
  • Book Review, Lani Guinier, Lift Every Voice: Turning a Civil Rights Setback Into a New Vision of Social Justice, Radcliffe Quarterly, Fall 1998, at 38.
  • Reporter for the Working Group on the Mission of the Federal Courts, Roundtable on State and Federal Jurisdiction (March 1994), Reporter's Draft published in Appendix to Symposium, Federalization of Crime: The Roles of the Federal and State Governments in the Criminal Justice System 46 Hastings L.J. 1255 (1995).
  • Co-author, "Selected Cases" in Massachusetts Handbook of Fees and Client Funds, Dollars and Sense for Massachusetts Attorneys, 1992 Massachusetts Bar Association.
  • Letter to the editor of Boston Globe Magazine published in June 2018, p. 6, commenting on article, The Case of the Vanishing Trial Lawyer, by Edward D. McCarthy, published May 13, 2018, about the responsibility of all professionals to “train newcomers in the hands-on practice of the craft.”
  • We deserve an AG who knows justice belongs to all, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, February 2, 2017. (Published before the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, the piece compares the approach to the office evidenced by Janet Reno’s tenure as Attorney General to the record Sessions would bring to the office, arguing that the attorney general should have an expansive vision of justice, not a person who would narrow its reach.)
  • Scott Gottlieb’s fervor for deregulation could harm patients, STAT, March 16, 2017. (The piece argues that the cumulative effect of Congressional, Trump administration, and judicial trends toward deregulation pose risks to the public health and safety, relating the risks of these deregulation movements to the regulatory failures that led to the New England Compounding Crisis which resulted in more than 60 deaths and hundreds of injuries in 2012 and 2013.)
  • No respect for John McCain’s vote on the Senate health care bill, STAT, July 26, 2017. (This piece criticized Senator John McCain for voting with 49 other Republican senators to allow the Senate to debate legislation aimed at repealing the Affordable Care Act at the end of July. Subsequently, Senator McCain dramatically cast the deciding vote defeating the measure and, in September, indicated his intent to vote against similar legislation developed by Senators Cassidy and Graham.)
  • Quoted in, Joan Vennochi, Privacy Rights Win in Robert Kraft Case, The Boston Globe, September 24, 2020
  • Appearances on WBUR/Radio Boston, the station’s flagship local program that airs weekdays at 3 p.m., with host Tiziana Dearing: September 21, with Nancy Gertner, discussing legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg; August 14, with Ed Lyons, discussing various events of the week; May 29, with Tito Jackson and Michael Curry, focused on race, racism, and brutality in the nation through the lens of recent incidents of police violence.
  • Boston Public Access TV, interviewed by SULS alumna Lucy Rivera on legal issues involved in Medicare and Medicaid. The program Ms. Rivera hosts in Discovering the Law. Interview recorded on September 12, 2019.
  • On December 12, 2019, appeared on the WGBH television program Greater Boston. The subject of the interview was what the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit should consider about whether Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial should have been moved to a different venue.
  • Interviewed on Watertown Cable Access Television for a video marking the 20th Unity Breakfast held in the community on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. (Previously have served as the keynote speaker (2005) and MC/Host (2017) for the event.)
  • Appeared on the WGBH television program Greater Boston to discuss legal and other issues involved in the impeachment trial of President Trump on January 21, 2020.
  • In Chris Opfer, AFL-CIO Sues Trump Administration Over Union Elections Rule, Bloomberg Law News, March 10, 2020, quoted about the relevance of the 2015 Supreme Court decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association on the efforts of the NLRB to use the exception in the Administrative Procedure Act for procedural rules to replace an Obama-era rule on elections procedures.
  • Panelist for a discussion of racism in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd for the WBUR Week in Review segment on Radio Boston on Friday, May 29, 2020.
  • Quoted in a Boston Globe article examining whether President Trump could send the military to various parts of the country to handle protests following the George Floyd killing: Victoria McGrane, Could Trump Deploy Military to Cities Like Boston to Quell Protests, June 1, 2020.

Honors and Awards

  • Elected a Fellow of the American Bar Association Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, Fall 2019.
  • Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and Women’s Network, Pinnacle Award for Excellence in Arts and Education, awarded January 22, 2010.
  • Citation of Distinguished Service to the Legal Profession, Boston Bar Association, on the occasion of the BBA’s 10th annual Strategies for Success Luncheon for summer associates and interns of color, for originating program in July 2008.
  • Black Law Students Association (BLSA), Suffolk Chapter, recognized at the 8th Annual Jazz Reception for commitment to students, November 30, 2007.
  • National Academy of Social Insurance, Elected to Membership in this organization of experts in Social Security, Medicare, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance and related social insurance areas, November 2007.
  • Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, Abigail Adams Honoree, June 13, 2007.
  • Boston College Law School Alumni Association, St. Thomas More Award, which recognizes a member of the legal community who represents, in his or her professional and private life, the ideals of St. Thomas More, April 27, 2004.
  • Chief Marshal for Harvard Commencement, Elected by Members of the Class of 1977 for its 25th Reunion, June 2002.
  • Harvard Medal, Harvard Alumni Association, June 10, 1999.
  • American Law Institute, Elected Member, 1998.
  • Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, Woman of Achievement, 1997. Selected as one of the Fifty Who Made A Difference to Big Sister Between 1951-2001.
  • Radcliffe College Chapter, Phi Beta Kappa, Elected Honorary Member, 1995.
  • Radcliffe College Alumnae Association, Distinguished Service Award, 1992.
  • Selected as one of “30 Reasons Why We Love Boston” by The Improper Bostonian, May 12-25, 2004.
  • Recognized as one of African Americans Making History Today at the Boston Renaissance Charter School, February 27, 2004.
  • Apple Pie Contest, Faire on the Square, Watertown, Massachusetts: First Place, September 28, 2013 and September 27, 2014. Second Place, September 29, 2001. Third Place, September 30, 2006 and September 26, 2010.
Portrait of Renee Landers.

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Courses Taught

  • Health Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Privacy Law