Richard Thompson Ford

George E. Osborne Professor of Law
Stanford Law School

Richard Thompson Ford writes for both scholarly and popular audiences and has published in newspapers and journals such the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Boston Review, and Slate as well in such scholarly journals as the Harvard Law Review, the Stanford Law Review and the Yale Law Journal.

His latest book, Dress Codes: how the laws of fashion made history received highly positive reviews worldwide in journals such as The New York Times where it was selected as an editor’s choice, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Slate, The Guardian and The South China Press. It has been translated into five languages and is the inspiration for an Editor’s Choice Ted Talk for 2021.

Two of his other books were selected as Notable Books of the year by the New York Times: The Race Card: how bluffing about bias makes race relations worse which The New York Times Sunday Book Review selected as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2008 and Rights Gone Wrong: how law corrupts the struggle for equality, which The New York Times selected as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2011. He has appeared on national television and radio programs including The Colbert Report, the Rachel Maddow Show, The New Yorker Radio Hour and All Things Considered. He was the co-host with Joe Bankman of the Sirius XM Radio program Stanford Legal from 2020-2022.

He has been a visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, Yale Law School and Columbia Law School and has lectured in 12 countries on five continents. He has practiced law with the firm of Morrison & Foerster, served as a Commissioner of the San Francisco Housing Authority and worked as a policy consultant for the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the City and County of San Francisco, California and the County of San Mateo, California. In 2012 ON BEING A BLACK LAWYER selected Ford as one of the 100 Most Influential Black Lawyers in the OBABL Power 100.

He a founding member of the Academic Freedom Alliance, a member of the American Law Institute, a board member of the Author’s Guild Foundation and a 2022-2024 Fellow of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

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