Deborah Widiss


Fulbright Award (2017)
Fulbright Award
Location: Australia
Indiana University Bloomington


Professor Widiss was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated with a B.A. in Humanities from Yale University in 1994. She completed a J.D. in 1999 from Yale Law School.

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 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.