College of Law

Shelley Cavalieri

Shelley Cavalieri

Professor of Law

Office: Suite 2008F
Campus Phone: 419.530.2871

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Shelley Cavalieri is a feminist legal scholar whose work focuses on the construction of women's legal agency under the constraints of patriarchy. She has explored these themes in the contexts of the United States and Ecuador, and in the field of human trafficking. More broadly, her scholarship engages questions of the role of law in advancing equality and justice, which she has taken up in the field of property law through her scholarship on land reform and land banking in struggling midwestern cities. She has also written on the capabilities approach, which she enlists to consider the role of states in fostering citizens' agency and how citizens strategize to advocate on their own behalf. An expert in property law, Professor Cavalieri is co-author of a property law casebook with Toledo Law Dean D. Benjamin Barros and Anna Hemingway.

Professor Cavalieri's work has a global reach. In 2018-19, she was named a Fulbright Faculty Scholar in Quito, Ecuador. She taught Feminist Legal Theories at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, which is Ecuador's top law school. There, she also researched several topics in feminist legal theory, including women's constitutional and political advocacy in Ecuador, a project on which she collaborated with Daniela Salazar, vice president of the Constitutional Court of Ecuador. She has likewise conducted research on land reform in Guatemala and taught courses in Mexico and Poland as well.

Professor Cavalieri is a prolific scholar who publishes in both Spanish and English. Her work has appeared in many journals, including the Wisconsin Law Review, the Seattle University Law Review, the Indiana Law Journal, the St. John's Law Review, and the Denver Law Review, among others. She has presented her scholarship widely, at conferences including Yale's Seminar on Latin American Constitutional and Legal Theory (SELA), Emory's Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative, the American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, and the University of Baltimore's Applied Feminism conference, among many others.

At The University of Toledo, Professor Cavalieri is an award-winning classroom teacher, having won the university's pinnacle Outstanding Teacher Award and multiple other teaching awards. She teaches Property, Land Use Planning, Trusts and Estates, Public Health Law, Human Rights and International Development, and occasional undergraduate seminars for the Jesup Scott Honors College.

Cavalieri received her J.D., Order of the Coif, from Boalt Hall, University of California, Berkeley, where she was senior articles editor for the California Law Review. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia with an honors interdisciplinary B.A. in bioethics. Professor Cavalieri clerked for the Hon. Thelton E. Henderson, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and the Hon. Martha Craig Daughtrey, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Washington. Prior to joining the faculty at The University of Toledo in 2011, she taught at West Virginia University College of Law, where she co-directed the Immigration Law Clinic.


Diálogo Plurívoco sobre la Teoría Jurídica Feminista en el Ecuador [Plurivocal Dialogue on Feminist Legal Theory in Ecuador], 34 ACADEMIA. REVISTA SOBRE ENSEÑANZA DEL DERECHO 133 (2020) (with Amalia Fernández-Salvador Fallet & Luis Miguel Chiriboga Heredia).

PROPERTY LAW (2d ed.) (2020) (with D. Benjamin Barros and Anna P. Hemingway).

On Amplification: Extralegal Acts of Feminist Resistance in the #MeToo Era, 2019 WISCONSIN LAW REVIEW 1419 (2019).

Back to the Basics: Lessons from U.S. Property Law for Land Reform, 95 Denver L. Rev. 73 (2017).

Linchpin Approaches to Salvaging Neighborhoods in the Legacy Cities of the Midwest, 92 Chicago-Kent L. Rev. 475 (2017).

Capabilities Approach, in The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies (Nancy A. Naples, et al., eds.) (2016).

Grounding Land Reform, 89 St. John's L. Rev. 1 (2015).

Between Victim and Agent: A Third-Way Feminist Account of Trafficking for Sex Work, 86 Indiana L.J. 1409 (2011).

The Eyes that Blind Us: The Overlooked Phenomenon of Trafficking into the Agricultural Sector, 31 Northern Illinois L. Rev. 501 (2011).

Last Updated: 6/27/22