RWI Affiliated Professor

Professor Martha F. Davis teaches at Northeastern University School of Law, where she is also a faculty director for the law school’s Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy and the NuLawLab, which she co-founded. She is an affiliated professor at RWI, where she works on issues relating to local human rights implementation.

Professor Davis has written widely on human rights, federalism, and women’s rights.  Her co-edited volume Global Urban Justice: The Rise of Human Rights Cities (with Barbara Oomen and Michele Grigolo) was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016.  She co-edited the award-winning Bringing Human Rights Home, a three-volume work chronicling the U.S. human rights movement, co-authored (with Risa Kaufman and Johanna Kalb) the law school casebook Human Rights Advocacy in the United States, and authored the prize-winning book Brutal Need: Lawyers and the Welfare Rights Movement, 1960-1973.  Professor Davis’s articles have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, the Fordham Law Review, the University of North Carolina Law Review and many other law reviews and practitioner journals.

Professor Davis has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress and state legislatures, and has appeared on national TV and radio.  She is a frequent blogger and op-ed author on issues relating to economic and social rights and women’s rights, and she co-edits the Law Profs Blog, Human Rights at Home.  An experienced litigator, she argued Nguyen v. INS before the U.S. Supreme Court and served as co-counsel in five other Supreme Court cases.  Prior to joining Northeastern, she was the Vice President and Legal Director of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Ongoing projects

Human Rights Cities Project