Myron Orfield, Jr.

Professor Myron Orfield is the Earl R. Larson Professor of Law and the Director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity at the University of Minnesota. He has written three books and dozens of articles and book chapters on local government law, spatial inequality, fair housing, school desegregation, charter schools, state and local taxation and finance, and land use law. The syndicated columnist Neal Peirce called him “the most influential demographer in America’s burgeoning regional movement.” Orfield’s research has led to legislative and judicial reforms at the federal level and state level reform in Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington, Oregon, and Maryland.

Professor Orfield has been a litigator in a large law firm, a civil rights lawyer, and an assistant attorney general of Minnesota, representing Minnesota in appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. He has been a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington and led both a national non-profit organization and a private research firm with clients all over the United States. Orfield was elected to both the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate, where he was the architect of a series of important legislative changes in land use, fair housing, and school and local government aid programs. Recently, Orfield served on the National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, as an academic advisor to the Congressional Black Caucus, an advisor to President Obama’s transition team for urban policy, to the White House Office of Urban Affairs, and as special consultant to the HUD’s Office for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. At FHEO, Professor Orfield assisted in the development of the Fair Housing Act’s Discriminatory Effects Standard (the “disparate impact rule”) (78 Fed. Reg. 11460) and the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule (80 Fed.Reg. 42272).

Professor Orfield graduated, summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota, was a graduate student at Princeton University, and has a J.D. from the University of Chicago, where received the Patino Fellowship, served on the University of Chicago Law Review and was a finalist in the Hinton Moot Court competition. Following law school, he clerked for the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit and then returned to the University of Chicago Law School as a Research Associate and Bradley Fellow at the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice. His early articles on the impact of the exclusionary rule on police behavior continue to be widely cited.



Class of 1987