Anita F. Hill is Of Counsel at Cohen Milstein, and a member of the Firm’s Civil Rights & Employment Practice Group. In that role, she advises on class action workplace discrimination cases. Ms. Hill, who joined the Firm in 2011, has played a leading role in furthering equal opportunity and ending discrimination in the United States, and brings with her more than three decades of legal, governmental, policymaking and academic experience to the Civil Rights Practice. She is a noted speaker, thinker, commentator and author who has contributed to a broad range of important civil rights and social issues, including race, gender discrimination, media and the law. She has appeared on numerous television and news programs, and her writings and opinions regularly are published in leading newspapers and magazines in the United States and the world.
Ms. Hill began her career as an associate with a boutique defendants’ firm based in Washington, D.C., which specialized in antitrust, federal agency and environmental work for corporate clients; in that role, she researched and wrote appellate and agency briefs on questions concerning environmental, corporate, antitrust and administrative law. She then served as special counsel to the assistant secretary of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, where she advised on legal and policy matters related to individual and systemic claims of educational discrimination, reviewed legal and policy positions for government-wide enforcement efforts and wrote position papers on various civil rights education issues including race and gender discrimination claims and with a specific focus on issues facing historically black colleges and universities.
Later, Ms. Hill became adviser to the Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), reviewing and analyzing Commission policy, writing legal policy and position papers for the Chairman and advising him on the effectiveness of the program and the functions of the Commission.
For more than three decades, Ms. Hill has taught law and public policy. She began her teaching career as an assistant professor at Oral Roberts University and later joined the faculty at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. In 1989, Ms. Hill became the first African American to be tenured at the University of Oklahoma, College of Law, where she taught contracts and commercial law. Since 1999, Ms. Hill has been on the faculty of Brandeis University where she holds the title of University Professor, the highest academic rank awarded by Brandeis. Hill is one of only seven University Professors in the school’s history. She teaches in the areas of civil rights, legal history and race and gender law and policy.
Ms. Hill is the author of numerous academic articles on international commercial law, contracts, bankruptcy and civil rights—all areas in which she has taught. She has given presentations on commercial law as well as race and gender equality to hundreds of business, professional, academic and civic organizations in the United States and abroad. In addition, she has appeared on several television programs, such as Face the Nation and Meet the Press, and has written for leading newspapers and magazines including Newsweek, The New York Times and Boston Globe and Time.com. Ms. Hill is the author of Speaking Truth to Power and served as the co-editor of Race, Gender, and Power in America: The Legacy of the Hill-Thomas Hearings. Her latest book is Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race and Finding Home (Beacon Press, 2011), an analysis of the housing market collapse of 2008 and its impact on gender and racial equality.
She is the recipient of numerous awards, grants and honorary degrees. Hill’s professional and civic contributions include chairing the Human Rights Law Committee of the International Bar Association, and membership on the Board of Governors of the Tufts Medical Center and the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Law Center and the Boston Area Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. Ms. Hill was the subject of the documentary, Anita: Speaking Truth to Power, which premiered at the Sundance Film festival in January 2013.
Ms. Hill attended Oklahoma State University, where she majored in Psychology, and earned her J.D. at Yale University Law School.