Tanya Washington, associate professor of law, has been named to Lawyers of Color's "50 Under 50" list, a comprehensive catalog of minority law professors under the age of 50, who are making an impact in legal education.
"I have worked with thousands of students of color over the past 15 years in various programs designed to ensure that law schools and the legal profession benefit from the diverse experiences, talent and skill that these students have to contribute," says Washington, who was humbled by the honor. "I am motivated to do so because others made similar investments in me, and I am committed to paying it forward."
Washington's scholarship explores the U.S. Supreme Court's jurisprudence on issues of equality in education, as well as children's rights in the context of family law. She also has co-written several pieces exploring the effectiveness of pedagogical interventions she has designed that provide students with the skills set to excel in law school and beyond.
Washington teaches courses on Family Law, Civil Procedure and Race Law. "I am grateful to be teaching at an institution like Georgia State values faculty research focused on enhancing the educational experience and improving educational outcomes for all students by increasing diversity," she says.
Before joining the faculty at Georgia State University College of Law 10 years ago, Washington served as both the Albert M. Sacks and A. Leon Higginbotham Research fellows before completing her LL.M. at Harvard Law School. She also was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Law.
"I was inspired to become a law professor because of teachers' ability to empower students to appreciate and realize their potential," Washington says. "Teachers bring the very best out of their students in ways that inspire them to believe in themselves. That is the kind of educator I aspire to be, and this award signals that my efforts have not been in vain."
Also an educator, her grandmother always reminded Washington that, "you are not where you are by or for yourself.” She notes, “As a legal academician of color, I feel a personal responsibility to not only hold the doors of opportunity open for others but to also help walk them through those doors."