Associate Dean for Research; Professor of Law and Ira C. Batman Faculty Fellow
- E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone (812) 856-1435
- Location Baier Hall 259
- B.A., Yale University 1994
- J.D., Yale University 1999
Professor Deborah Widiss’s research and teaching 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 University of Michigan Law Review, the Texas Law Review, the Washington University Law Review, and the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender. She has also published articles in several peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Legal Studies and the Journal of Family Theory and Review.
Professor Widiss was selected as a 2018 Fulbright Senior Scholar to study Australia’s paid parental leave program as a visiting researcher at Melbourne Law School. She has received several awards for her research, including the Association of American Law Schools Outstanding Scholarly Paper Award, recognizing the best paper submitted by a junior faculty member at an AALS-member law school; the Dukeminier Award, recognizing the best law review article on sexual orientation published in the previous year; and the Feldman Award, recognizing a peer-reviewed journal article that makes a significant social policy contribution related to gender in families. She has also received an Indiana University Trustees’ Teaching Award. Professor Widiss has served as Chair of the AALS Employment Discrimination Section and as a member of the executive committee of the AALS Legislation Section.
Professor Widiss has been quoted as an expert on issues relating to employment discrimination, same-sex marriage, and domestic violence by numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Washington Post. She has published op-eds on The Atlantic’s website and Huffington Post. She has also lectured or testified on these subjects to federal and state judges, legislators, attorneys, human resources professionals, and local human rights agencies.
Professor Widiss joined the IU Maurer School of Law faculty in 2009. Before transitioning to academia, 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 received a J.D. and a B.A. from Yale University. She was appointed associate dean for research in 2019.
In the media
- Describes "The Cradle Act (at 39:32)," Iowa Public Radio (3/14/2019)
- After the Override: An Empirical Analysis of Shadow Precedent (with Brian J. Broughman), 46 JOURNAL OF LEGAL STUDIES 51 (2017).
- Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships: New Possibilities for Research on the Role of Marriage Law in Household Labor Allocation, 8 JOURNAL OF FAMILY THEORY & REVIEW 10 (2016) (winner, Feldman Award).
- Gilbert Redux: The Interaction of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Amended Americans with Disabilities Act, 46 U.C. DAVIS L. REV 961 (2013).
- 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) (winner, AALS Outstanding Scholarly Paper Award).
- Exposing Sex Stereotypes in Recent Same-Sex Marriage Jurisprudence, 30 HARV. J.L. & GENDER 461 (2007) (with Elizabeth N. Rosenblatt & Douglas NeJaime) (winner, Dukeminier Award).
Op-eds and Blog Entries
- Op-ed: How Walmart's 'Support' for Pregnant Employees Falls Short, THE HUFFINGTON POST (April 2014).
- Op-ed: Hidden Costs of Federal Marriage Benefits to Same-Sex Couples, THE HUFFINGTON POST (Sept. 2013).
- Op-ed: Marriage Policy Encourages One Spouse to Stay Home and the Other to Work: How Will this Affect Same-Sex Couples As They Gain More and More Legal Rights?, THEATLANTIC.COM, (June 2013).
- Why Marriage Isn’t an Equal Partnership, THE HUFFINGTON POST (March 2012) (interview by Huffington Post blogger Vicki Larson).
- Family law
- Employment discrimination
- Women's issues
- Legislation and statutory interpretation