A.B. Political Science, University of Chicago
M.A. Urban Planning, UCLA School of Public Affairs
J.D., UCLA School of Law (specialization in Critical Race Theory)
Ph.D. History, UC Davis
Nina Farnia is a legal historian and scholar of Critical Race Theory, focusing on the role of modern imperialism in U.S. law and politics. Her publications explore a variety of related subjects, including the formation of the national security state, the rise of autocratic legalism, U.S. sanctions regimes, and the evolution of the First Amendment. Her doctoral dissertation, Imperialism in the Making of U.S. Law, 1940-2008, is the 2023 co-winner of the Julien Mezey Dissertation Award from the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities, and is the basis of her forthcoming book, The Imperialist State.
Farnia has published in a wide range of academic journals and popular media outlets such as the Stanford Law Review, UCLA Women’s Law Journal, Middle East Critique, and Geopolitical Economy Report, among others.
Previously, she was an Equal Justice Works fellow and participated on the legal teams for two Supreme Court cases: Dukes v. Wal-Mart, the largest civil rights class action in U.S. history and her fellowship case, Fazaga v. FBI, which challenged the use of government informants in mosques in Southern California. During law school she clerked for Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi and women’s rights attorney Nasrin Sotoodeh in Iran. Prior to attending law school, she was a community organizer in Chicago.
Farnia earned an A.B. from the University of Chicago where she was a Maroon Key Society honoree, a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law where she was an organizer of the inaugural Critical Race Studies symposia, and a Ph.D. from the Department of History at UC Davis, where she was a Provost’s Fellow and a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
At Albany Law School, she teaches Civil Procedure, Critical Race Theory, Employment Law, and a seminar on Critical Legal History.