Deborah  Widiss

Deborah Widiss

Professor of Law

  • B.A., Yale University 1994
  • J.D., Yale University 1999

Professor Deborah Widiss’s research focuses on employment law, family law, the legislative process, and the significance of gender and gender stereotypes in the development of law and government policy. Her work has appeared in leading law reviews, including the University of Pennsylvania Law Review; the Texas Law Review; the Washington University Law Review; and the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender. In 2009, she was a winner of the Association of American Law Schools’ annual scholarly papers competition, which recognizes excellent scholarship by junior faculty; in 2008, she was honored with a Dukeminier Award, from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, which recognizes the best sexual orientation and gender identity law scholarship published in the previous year. In 2013, she was presented with an Indiana University Trustees’ Teaching Award. Professor Widiss has also served as Chair of the AALS Employment Discrimination Section.

Professor Widiss joined the IU Maurer School of Law faculty in 2009, after two years as a visiting assistant professor at Brooklyn Law School. Before beginning to teach, Professor Widiss was an attorney at Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund), where she was a national expert on the intersection between domestic violence and employment. In this capacity, she drafted federal and state legislation, consulted regularly with employers, and litigated cases on behalf of individual victims of domestic violence. She also authored several amicus briefs in support of marriage rights for same-sex couples. Earlier in her career, Widiss worked for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity on reform of the financing of public schools and for Lawyers Alliance for New York. She clerked for Judge Allyne R. Ross of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Widiss has a J.D. and a B.A. from Yale University.

Selected Works
  • Gilbert Redux: The Interaction of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Amended Americans with Disabilities Act, 46 UC DAVIS LAW REVIEW 961 (2013)
  • Changing the Marriage Equation, 89 WASH. U. L. REV. 721 (2012)
  • Undermining Congressional Overrides: The Hydra Problem in Statutory Interpretation, 90 TEX. L. REV. 859 (2012)
  • Equal Access and the Right to Marry, 158 U. PA. L. REV. 1375 (2010) (with Nelson Tebbe)
  • Shadow Precedents and the Separation of Powers: Statutory Interpretation of Congressional Overrides, 84 NOTRE DAME L. REV. 511 (2009) (lead article) (winner of the 2009 AALS Scholarly Papers competition)
  • Domestic Violence and the Workplace: The Explosion of State Legislation and the Need for a Comprehensive Strategy, 35 FLA. ST. U. L. Rev. 669 (2008)
  • Exposing Sex Stereotypes in Recent Same-Sex Marriage Jurisprudence, 30 HARV. J.L. & GENDER 461 (2007) (with Elizabeth N. Rosenblatt & Douglas NeJaime) (winner of a 2008 Dukeminier Award)

Op-eds and Blog Entries