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University of California - Davis




On November 8, 2011, I presented this lecture as part of the annual Brigitte M. Bodenheimer Family Law Lecture Series at the University of California, Davis School of Law. I extend sincere thanks to the Bodenheimer family for endowing this special lecture. I feel honored to be a small part of this wonderful lecture series in family law. I feel particularly grateful because the University of California, Davis School of Law was my "birthplace" as a professor. Dean Rex Perschbacher, then Associate Dean Kevin Johnson, and the law school faculty welcomed me into academia by giving me my first job as a tenure-track law professor and serving as fantastic mentors to me along the way. 1 I did not have the honor of knowing Professor Bodenheimer, but I was very fortunate to be a part of her legacy at the law school in two important ways. First, I followed in the footsteps of Professor Bodenheimer, who was the first tenured woman law professor at the University of California, Davis School of Law, when I joined the faculty as one of its many female law professors. 2 I also was lucky to be a part of Professor Bodenheimer's legacy at the law school by following her and Professor Carol Bruch as the institution's family law professor. This Essay is based on materials from my forthcoming book ACCORDING TO OUR HEARTS: RHINELANDER v. RHINELANDER AND THE LAW OF THE MULTIRACIAL FAMILY (Yale University Press 2013). It explores both how far we have travelled and how little we have travelled in terms of equality and interracial intimacy since the stunning annulment trial of Alice and Leonard Rhinelander in 1925.


Based on 2011-2012 Brigitte Bodenheimer Lecture

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