Have You Met Rutgers-Newark?

A leading scholar on family law issues

In 1984, Twila Perry joined the faculty of Rutgers School of Law—Newark and eventually became the law school’s first tenured female professor of color. She is one of the country’s leading legal scholars on family law issues, particularly the role of race and gender in family law. A prolific writer, she has published articles on numerous subjects, including transracial and international adoption, the legal obligations of marriage, the African-American family and family law, no-fault divorce, and alimony. In addition to courses on family law, race and gender, Perry instructs Rutgers law students on the intricacies of tort law.

Known for her generosity, Perry is often praised for her willingness and eagerness to mentor students, young attorneys, and new faculty. Admired by her colleagues and students alike for her scholarly achievements and social sensibilities, not surprisingly, Perry was the recipient of the Clyde Ferguson Award in 2012. The highest award bestowed by the Minority Groups Section of the Association of American Law Schools, the Clyde Ferguson Award recognizes “an outstanding law teacher, who in the course of his or her career has achieved excellence in the areas of public service, teaching and scholarship.”

Prior to joining Rutgers, Perry served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York. Early in her legal career, she clerked for Judge Mary Johnson Lowe of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and was associated with the New York law firm of Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam and Roberts.

Perry received her juris doctor from New York University School of Law, her master of social work from Columbia University School of Social Work, and her bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College. At NYU she was a Root-Tilden Scholar and an editor of the Law Review. She currently is writing a book on the recent gentrification of Harlem entitled A Gem in Harlem: The Garrison Apartments, Gentrification and the Dilemma of Race.