Donna Irene Dennis
Professor of Law and Justice Frederick W. Hall Scholar
(on leave Fall 2014)
Professor Dennis received a B.A. from Yale College, where she graduated summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She also holds an M.A. in history from Yale University and a J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the Yale Law and Policy Review and executive editor of AIDS and the Law. In 2005, Professor Dennis received a Ph.D. in history from Princeton University, where she taught American legal history and was awarded a Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities. Before joining the Rutgers faculty, Professor Dennis practiced law in New York at Debevoise & Plimpton; with the Civil Rights Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s Office; and as a partner at Richard Spears Kibbe & Orbe, where she specialized in corporate governance and securities litigation and enforcement.
Professor Dennis’s first book, Licentious Gotham: Erotic Publishing and Its Prosecution in Nineteenth Century New York, a study of the origins of obscenity regulation and the indecent publishing business in 19th-century New York, was published by Harvard University Press in March 2009. She has also published several articles in the area of American legal history; law, gender, and sexuality; and corporate law. She has been an invited speaker at the Yale Legal History Forum, the UCLA Legal History Workshop, and the Law and Humanities Junior Scholar Workshop. She has also presented papers to the American Society for Legal History, the American Studies Association, and the Law and Society Association, among others.