Rachel J. Anderson

Professor of Law
Director, International, Transnational & Comparative Law Program
Co-Director, Business & Commercial Law Concentration
Director, Poverty Law & Policy Clinic
Areas of Expertise:
Good Governance Corporate Governance International Law Business Law Human Rights Poverty Law and Policy
Curriculum Vitae:
  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
  • M.A., Stanford University, International Policy Studies
  • Zwischenprüfung, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Rachel J. Anderson

Professor of Law
Director, International, Transnational & Comparative Law Program
Co-Director, Business & Commercial Law Concentration
Director, Poverty Law & Policy Clinic
Areas of Expertise:
Good Governance Corporate Governance International Law Business Law Human Rights Poverty Law and Policy

Professor Rachel J. Anderson began her legal career at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (UK) in London, England and joined the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV in 2007. In 2013, she was awarded tenure and the status of Full Professor of Law by the UNLV Regents. 

Professor Anderson has made outstanding contributions to the law school and its students, to local communities and to the State of Nevada, and to constituencies served at the national level in poverty law, underrepresented scholarship, and social justice.  Her service, teaching, and scholarship epitomize the mission and ethos of the law school – education and impactful service to diverse communities at the local, state, and national levels as well as the law school’s ongoing commitment to substantive and meaningful public service. 

Professor Anderson established the Poverty Law & Policy Clinic in 2023. The Poverty Law & Policy Clinic (PLPC) is a Thomas & Mack Legal Clinic at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) founded and directed by Professor Rachel J. Anderson. The PLPC is a public-interest clinic that teaches law students how to use law and policy to help Nevadans with the greatest needs through hands-on learning experiences as student attorneys contributing to systemic change so that more Nevadans can live lives full of opportunity. Student attorneys in the PLPC work on issues that intersect with poverty, including housing insecurity, food insecurity and nutrition, health and mental health, education, disability, transportation, voting, environment, internet access, and criminalization. PLPC student attorneys’ work includes conducting legal and policy research, drafting legal and policy documents, presenting results, and testifying before law-making, administrative, and other bodies. The PLPC works with government agencies, public officials, non-profit organizations, direct service providers, and other organizations, decision-makers, and groups.

Professor Anderson earned her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, her M.A. in International Policy Studies from Stanford University, and her Zwischenpruefung from the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. While earning her J.D. at U.C. Berkeley, she served as Articles Editor on the California Law Review, Executive Editor on the Berkeley Journal of International Law, and Managing Editor of the Berkeley Journal of African-American Law & Policy. A longtime Nevada resident, Professor Anderson is a graduate of Edward C. Reed High School in Sparks, Nevada and an alumna of Nevada Girls State.

Selected Highlights of Professor Anderson’s Important Contributions and Achievements Past and Present


  • American Society of Comparative Law, Board of Directors 
  • American Association of Law Schools, Poverty Law Section, Executive Committee 
  • Equality California, Board of Directors
  • Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop, Participant since inaugural workshop, Advisory Committee, and Historian
  • National American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Board of Directors 
  • National ACLU Foundation, Board of Director
  • National Bar Association, Secretary and Member-at-Large, Board of Governors


  • General Counsel, Office of the Nevada Attorney General (first law school faculty to serve in Nevada state government, only law school faculty to serve in Executive Branch)
  • Investment Advisory Committee Voting Member, Battle Born Venture: Nevada’s State Venture Capital Program, Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (appointed by Nevada Legislature)
  • Kenny Guinn Center for Policy Priorities, Advisory Board
  • Nevada American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU-NV) and ACLU-NV Foundation, Vice President, Secretary, Boards of Directors
  • Nevada Black Legislative Caucus Black Voter/ Covid-19 Response Task Force, Member
  • Nevada Lawyer Black History Month Issue February 2012, Author, Editor, and Steering Committee Chair 
  • Nevada Legislature’s Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice, Subcommittee to Review Arrestee DNA, Member (appointed by Nevada Legislature)
  • Nevada Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, Member (appointed by Nevada Supreme Court)
  • Silver State Equality, Advisory Board, Member and Co-Chair


  • Clark County, Business Development Advisory Council, Small Business Opportunity Program Friends and Family Mixer, Presenter and Advisor 
  • Canyon Springs High School Law and Leadership Academy, Advisory Board Member
  • Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association, President
  • Presenter and moderator for numerous community panels and events
  • Service in multiple community service organizations
  • Youth Justice Workshop, Co-Creator 
  • Youth Voter Education Program, Co-Creator and Teacher Trainer

Law School 

  • African Americans, Civil Rights, and Law in Nevada Traveling Exhibit, Co-Creator
  • Justice Michael L. Douglas Fellowship Program Board, Member 
  • Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association Archive at the Wiener-Rogers Law Library, Co-Creator and Contributor
  • Poverty Law & Policy Clinic, Founder and Director

Professor Anderson’s contributions have been recognized with numerous awards, including:

  • UNLV 2024 Community Engagement Service-Learning Award
  • Jefferson Fordham Society Law Office Accomplishment Award, ABA State & Local Government Section (member of recipient team: Nevada Office of the Attorney General Policy Research Team), 2021
  • The 5 “Cs” Award, State of Nevada, Office of the Attorney General, 2020
  • Next-Level Inspiration Award, 2020 Women of the Year, Emerge Nevada, 2020
  • Urban Chamber of Commerce, Women in Business Award, 2015
  • U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Certificate of Commendation, 2015
  • U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Senatorial Recognition, 2015
  • U.S. Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Certificate of Special Congressional Commendation, 2015
  • U.S. Representative Joe Heck (R-Nev.), Certificate of Special Recognition, 2015
  • U.S. Congressman Crescent Hardy (R-Nev.), Certificate of Congressional Recognition, 2015
  • Lieutenant Governor Mark A. Hutchinson (R-Nev.), Certificate of Recognition, 2015
  • Lawyers of Color Magazine, Law School Diversity 50 Under 50 List, 2014
  • Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Certificate of Appreciation for Elevating the Conversation on Issues of Racial Equity and Social Justice, 2014
  • U.S. Congressman Stephen Horsford (D-Nev.), Special Congressional Recognition, 2013
  • Law Professors Division of the National Bar Association, Outstanding Service Award, 2013
  • State Bar of Nevada, Medal of Justice, 2012
  • University of California Berkeley, School of Law, Olin Law & Economics Fellowship, 2003
  • University of California Berkeley, School of Law, Justice Ira F. Thomson Fellowship, 2002