Jamila Jefferson-Jones

Jamila Jefferson-Jones
  • Earl B. Shurtz Research Professor of Law
  • Pillsbury Winthrop Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging


Jamila Jefferson-Jones joined the KU Law faculty in 2022 as a Professor of Law. Jefferson-Jones also serves as the School of Law's inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging. Jefferson-Jones is an Earl B. Shurtz Research Professor of Law at KU.

Jefferson-Jones writes about property and wealth attainment by communities and groups on the margins of society. She examines the ways members of favored racialized groups exclude minoritized populations from public and private spaces, thus enforcing the racial segregation of space and racist notions of supremacy. Her work harnesses critical race methodologies, focusing in part on the use or threat of police action against members of disfavored groups. Her recent article on this subject, #LivingWhileBlack: Blackness As Nuisance, was published in the American University Law Review and featured in the New York Times.

Before joining KU Law, Jefferson-Jones was a professor of law and associate director of property, equity and justice for the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University School of Law. She was previously a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, teaching courses in Property, Fair Housing and Real Estate Transactions, and serving as interim director of the Black Studies Program in the UMKC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She was a visiting associate professor of law at KU Law in spring 2018, teaching Property and Fair Housing Law Seminar courses.

Jefferson-Jones is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College. Prior to beginning her career in academia, Jefferson-Jones practiced law for over a decade at firms in the District of Columbia and in her hometown of New Orleans.


J.D., Harvard Law School
A.B., Harvard College



Maryland; District of Columbia; Louisiana; United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit; all United States District Courts in Louisiana; United States District Court for the District of Maryland (all currently inactive)

Career History

  • Professor and Associate Director for Property, Equity and Justice, Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, Wayne State University
  • Professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
  • Interim Director, Black Studies Program, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Visiting Associate Professor of Law, University of Kansas School of Law
  • Associate Professor of Law, Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law
  • Adjunct Faculty, Master of Jurisprudence Program in Business and Corporate Governance Law, Loyola University of Chicago School of Law
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Mississippi College School of Law
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, University of Denver Strum College of Law
  • Managing Partner, Jefferson & Jefferson, PLLC
  • Staff Attorney, Orleans Public Defenders
  • Associate, Jones Walker LLP
  • Associate, Milling Benson Woodward LLP
  • Associate, Hogan & Hartson, LLP
  • Clerk to Judge Carl E. Stewart, United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit



Selected Publications

“Driving While Black” as “Living While Black,” 106 IOWA L. REV. 2281 (2021). 
#LivingWhileBlack: Blackness as Nuisance, 69 AM. U. L. REV. 863 (2020).
Advising the Smart City: When Artificial Intelligence and Big Data are the Subject, of Professional Advice, What is a Government Lawyer to Do?, 50 U. TOL. L. REV. 447 (2019).

Community Dignity Takings: Dehumanization and Infantilization of Communities Resulting from the War on Drugs, 66 KAN. L. REV. 101 (2018).
Extending “Dignity Takings”: Reconceptualizing the Damage Caused by Criminal History and Ex-Offender Status, 62 ST. LOUIS L.J. 864 (2018).
Shut Out of Airbnb: A Proposal for Remedying Housing Discrimination in the Modern Sharing Economy, 43 FORDHAM URB. L.J. CITY SQUARE 12 (2016).
Airbnb and the Housing Segment of the Modern “Sharing Economy”: Are Short-Term Rental Restrictions an Unconstitutional Taking?, 42 HASTINGS CONST. L.Q. 101 (2015), reprinted in 2016 ZONING AND PLANNING LAW HANDBOOK (2016) (Patricia E. Salkin ed.).

Can Short-Term Rental Arrangements Increase Home Values?: A Case for Airbnb and Other Home Sharing Arrangements, 13 CORNELL REAL EST. REV. 12 (2015).

Selected Presentations

#DrivingWhileBlack as #LivingWhileBlack

  • “’The Pretextual Traffic Stop:’” How Policing Drivers Fuels Mass Incarceration” (panel), 41st Annual Edward V. Sparer Symposium, University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Philadelphia, PA, February 11, 2022.
  • Barbara Jordan Lecture Series on Race, Law and Inequality, Boston University School of Law, Boston, MA, February 10, 2022.
  • Guest Speaker, Critical Race Theory Colloquium taught by Dean Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Boston University School of Law, Boston, MA, February 9, 2022.
  • “Rights of Way and Public Space” (panel), Law Review Symposium, University of Iowa College of Law, Iowa City, IA, November 6, 2020.

#LivingWhileBlack: Blackness as Nuisance

  • Guest Speaker, Public Interest Housing Workshop taught by Prof. Bernadette Atuahene, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, IL, January 14, 2021.
  • “Race and Property in Historical Perspective: A Series of Conversations about Research and Methods,” University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, MI, October 29, 2020.
  • Speaker Series, University of Oklahoma College of Law, Norman, OK, October 21, 2020.
  • Guest Speaker, Race and The Law Seminar taught by Prof. Wendy Greene, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, Philadelphia, PA, September  22, 2020.

Weaponizing Historic Preservation Law: Blackness as Nuisance in the Gentrifying Urban Core, Property Law Works-In-Progress Conference, Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, MA, September 20, 2019.

Regulatory Takings and Planning Compensation Rights in the Sharing Economy, “Constitutional and Regulatory Issues of the Sharing Economy,” International Society of Public Law (ICON-S) 2018 Conference, University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law, Hong Kong, China, June 25, 2018.

Airbnb and Discrimination in the Housing Sector of the Sharing Economy, “The Future of Housing Equity, Stability, Sustainability,” Fair Housing and Financial Markets Diversity Symposium, Washburn University School of Law, Topeka, KS, March 6, 2018.

Courtesy Stigma and Community Destruction as a Dignity Taking In “High Crime” Communities

  • “Critical Inquiry for Critical Times,” Association of American Law Schools 112th Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, January 6, 2018. 
  • Inequality and the Law – Law Review Symposium, University of Kansas School of Law, Lawrence, KS, October 20, 2017.

Extending “Dignity Takings”: Reconceptualizing the Damage Caused by Criminal History and Ex-Offender Status

  • University of Kansas School of Law, Lawrence, KS, October 20, 2017.
  • Childress Lecture and Law Journal Symposium, St. Louis University Law 
  • School, St. Louis, MO, October 12, 2017.
  • Junior Faculty Workshop, Chapman University Fowler School of Law, Orange County, CA, September 22, 2017.
  • Property Law Works-In-Progress Conference, Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, MA, September 15, 2017.

The Sharing Economy Coalescence: Smart Cities, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Real Property Governance Regimes, Property Implications of the Sharing Economy Workshop, Pennsylvania State University School of Law, University Park, PA, October 6, 2017.

The Continued Reputational Damage Caused by Criminal History and Ex-Offender Status as a “Dignity Taking”

  • International Meeting on Law and Society, Mexico City, Mexico, June 23, 2017.
  • Legal Theory Workshop, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, Baltimore, MD, November 17, 2016.

Reputational Damage as a Regulatory Dignity Taking, Property Law Works-In-Progress Conference, Boston University School of Law, Boston, MA, September 23, 2016.

Restoring Dignity and Reputation

  • Works-In-Progress Series, Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop, University of Iowa School of Law, Iowa City, IA, July 8, 2016.
  • “The Punitive State I: Pretrial Detention and Bail,” Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA June 2, 2016.
  • “The Modern Problem-Solving Court Movement: Taking Stock After 25 Years,” Association of American Law Schools 110th Annual Meeting, New York, NY, January 9, 2016. 

Awards & Honors

  • American Bar Foundation Fellow, 2020 - present

    • Global honorary society of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the highest principles of the legal profession and to the welfare of their communities. Membership in the Fellows is limited to one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction. Fellows are recommended by their peers and elected by the Board of the American Bar Foundation. 
  • American Bar Association State and Local Government Section Jefferson B. Fordham  Advocacy Award, 2021
    • The Jefferson B. Fordham award is the highest award presented by the State and Local Government Section of the American Bar Association. The advocacy award is presented in recognition of outstanding legal advocacy within the area of state, local, regional and tribal government law and celebrates excellence in advocacy, both written and otherwise.
  • University of Missouri System Presidential Engagement Fellow, 2020-2021 Cohort
    • One of 15 UM System faculty members (one of three from UMKC) chosen to represent the UM System and share their research and expert knowledge with Missouri citizens in every county.


  • Association of American Law Schools (AALS)

    • Property Section, Executive Committee, 2020 - present
    • Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Teachers and Students, 2018 – 2020
  • American Bar Association (ABA)
    • Section of State and Local Government Law 

      • The Urban Lawyer Advisory Board, 2020-present
      • Chair, Government Operations and Liability Committee, 2020-present
      • Vice Chair, Sharing Economy Committee, 2016-2018
      • Associate Editor, The Urban Lawyer, 2015-2017
    • Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
      • Western Michigan University, Summer 2021
      • North Carolina Central University School of Law Accreditation Site Visit Team Member, Fall 2019
  • Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS)
    • Wayne State Steering Committee Representative, 2021
    • Resource Team for Real Property, 2017-present
  • Southeast/Southwest People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference
    • Executive Planning Committee, 2012 – 2015
    • Program Co-Chair, 2014 Conference, Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, February 27 – March 1, 2014
    • Works-In-Progress Co-Chair, 2013 Conference, University of Arkansas Little Rock, April 5 – 7, 2013