University of Pittsburgh

Lu-in Wang

Professor of Law

Lu-in Wang's scholarship examines ordinary and extraordinary forms of discrimination and the connections between them. Her current project focuses on the relationship between social and economic stereotypes and how the law adopts or contributes to those stereotypes and hence reinforces their connection, as well as how the law might disrupt that connection to more effectively identify and redress discrimination. Her 2006 book, Discrimination by Default: How Racism Becomes Routine (New York University Press 2006), draws on social psychology to detail three commonplace but generally unrecognized ways in which unconscious assumptions lead to discrimination in a wide range of everyday settings, as well as how these dynamics interact to produce an invisible, self-fulfilling, and self-perpetuating prophecy of racial disparity. Her earlier work examined more extreme forms of discrimination. In addition to being the author of Hate Crimes Law (Clark Boardman Callaghan, 1994, updated annually through 2000), the first legal treatise on that subject, Professor Wang has written several major articles that take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the social processes underlying the legal issues related to bias-related violence, applying historical, sociological, and social psychological literature. Professor Wang's articles have appeared in journals such as the Boston University Law Review, the Michigan Journal of Race and Law, the Ohio State Law Journal, the Rutgers Race & the Law Review, and the Southern California Law Review. Professor Wang also speaks to and consults with non-legal audiences and institutions that hope to better understand discrimination in order to reduce it.

Professor Wang received the Student Bar Association's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2000 and 2006 the University of Pittsburgh's Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award in 2001. In 2006, she was elected to membership in the American Law Institute. Professor Wang previously practiced law with firms in Chicago, Illinois, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is a former staff attorney for the Center for Social Gerontology, a national support center on law and aging. She also served as a law clerk for former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Ralph J. Cappy.


  • JD, University of Michigan
  • BA, University of Pittsburgh
  • BS, Pennsylvania State University
    • Antitrust
    • Antitrust Seminar
    • Contract Law Seminar
    • Violence and the Law Seminar


  • Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

  • Specialization

    • Contracts
    • Hate Crimes Law
    • Law and the Social Psychology of Discrimination

    Selected Publications


    • Lu-in Wang, Discrimination by Default: How Racism Becomes Routine (2006).
    • Lu-in Wang, Hate Crimes Law (Clark Boardman Callaghan, 1994, and supplements, 1995-2000).

    Scholarly Articles:

    • Lu-in Wang, Negotiating the situation: The Reasonable Person in Context, 14 LEWIS & CLARK L. REV. 1285 (2010). Available on SSRN.
    • Mary A. Crossley and Lu-in Wang, Learning by Doing: An Experience with Outcomes Assessment, 41 UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO L. REV. 269 (2010). Available on SSRN.
    • Lu-in Wang, Morrison v. Department of Public Welfare and the Pennsylvania Revolution in Scope and Standard of Review, 47 DUQ. L. REV. 609 (2009).
    • Lu-in Wang, Pat Chew, & Janet W. Schofield, Culture and Race in Provider-Client Relationships, Social Work in Public Health, 23: 2, 1 - 33 (2007).
    • Lu-in Wang, Race As Proxy: Situational Racism and Self-Fulfilling Stereotypes, 53 DePaul L. Rev. 1013 (2004). Available on SSRN.
    • Lu-in Wang, Hate Crimes and Everyday Discrimination: Influences of and on the Social Context, 4 Rutgers Race & The Law Review 1 (2002). Available on SSRN
    • Lu-in Wang, Unwarranted Assumptions in the Prosecution and Defense of Hate Crimes, 7 Criminal Justice 4 (2002). Available on SSRN
    • Lu-in Wang, 'Suitable Targets'? Parallels and Connections between 'Hate Crimes' and 'Driving While Black,' 6 Michigan Journal of Race & Law 209 (2001). Available on SSRN
    • Lu-in Wang, Recognizing Opportunistic Bias Crimes, 80 Boston University Law Review 1399 (2000). Available on SSRN.
    • Lu-in Wang, The Complexities of “Hate,” 60 Ohio State L.J. 799 (1999).
    • Lu-in Wang, The Transforming Power of “Hate”: Social Cognition Theory and the Harms of Bias-Related Crime, 71 S. Cal. L. Rev. 47 (1997).

    SSRN Author Page

    Awards and Honors

    • Elected to membership,The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, February 2011. 

    • Elected to membership,The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, February 2011. 

      Elected to membership, American Law Institute, October 2006. 

    • University of Pittsburgh School of Law Student Bar Association Excellence in Teaching Award, May 27, 2000 and May 27, 2006. (2000)

    • University of Pittsburgh Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award (2001)

    Selected Professional Activities

    • Member, American Law Institute

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