Alumni Ambassadors

Renee Knake Jefferson

Renee Knake-Jefferson headshot
Job title
Doherty Chair in Legal Ethics and Professor of Law
Academic year
January 2019 – June 2019
Law Democratized: A Blueprint for Justice

I am a legal and judicial ethics scholar and attorney with more than a decade of executive leadership experience in higher education, including oversight as trustee of R1 public research university. As an award-winning author of four books and numerous academic articles, my work is frequently cited in leading law reviews, Supreme Court briefs, and media including CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, New York Times, Politico, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. I have been invited to testify before Congress about judicial recusal and before the federal judiciary about reform to rules on workplace misconduct. At the University of Houston, I teach Constitutional Law, Professional Responsibility, and a writing seminar on Gender, Power, Law, and Leadership. I am an elected member of the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

I held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2019. This experience transformed my professional and personal life, and the impact of our time in Australia endures today. My research focused on how tools of entrepreneurship and innovation can increase access to justice. I spoke at institutions across the country about my work and maintain close relationships with many of the scholars and experts I met during my time in Australia. My husband and teenage children joined me, enrolling in local schools and immersing themselves in Australian culture. My book “Law Democratized: A Blueprint for Justice,” based on my Fulbright project, will be published in 2023 by New York University Press. The Fulbright experience brought our family closer together, advanced my professional research, and provided me a platform to collaborate with others to enhance their academic pursuits as well.

Ask Me About:

  • Living in Melbourne
  • Lecturing in Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, Tasmania, and New Zealand
  • Taking a family on Fulbright including enrollment in local schools for teens
  • Things to do before your Fulbright begins to make the most of your time in-country
  • Navigating leadership roles for females in a male-dominated culture