Paula Abrams

Edward Brunet Professor of Law Emerita

Legal Research Center 225




Professor Abrams worked in Washington, D.C., for the Executive Office of the President, Council on Wage and Price Stability, and later as an attorney for the Office of Legal and Enforcement Counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition to private practice she has served as executive director of both the Oregon Judicial Fitness Commission and the Oregon Commission on the Judicial Branch.  Her primary research areas are in constitutional law and her recent scholarship focuses on reproductive rights and population policy. Professor Abrams has written a book on the landmark Supreme Court Case, “Pierce v. Society of Sisters.”  The book, Cross Purposes, was released by the University of Michigan Press in November 2009. In 2009, Professor Abrams was named Jeffrey Bain Faculty Scholar in recognition of her exemplary teaching and scholarship; and in 2013 was further recognized as the inaugural Edward Brunet Professor of Law.

Specialty Areas and Course Descriptions

  • Constitutional Law II
  • Population Law Seminar

Academic Credentials

  • BGS with honors, University of Michigan.
  • JD University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall).


Separately Published Works

  • CROSS PURPOSES (University of Michigan Press 2009).
  • Editor, OREGON JUDGES CRIMINAL BENCHBOOK (Oregon Judicial Department 1987).

Works Published As Part of a Collection

  • The Bad Mother: Stigma, Abortion and Surrogacy, 43 The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 179 (2015).
  • Abortion Stigma: The Legacy of Casey, 35 WOMEN’S RIGHTS LAW REPORTER 299 (2014).
  • The Scarlet Letter: The Supreme Court and the Language of Abortion Stigma, 19 MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF GENDER & LAW 293 (2013). SSRN Link
  • The Reasonable Believer: Faith, Formalism, and Endorsement of Religion, 14 LEWIS & CLARK LAW REVIEW 1537 (2010). SSRN Link
  • The Majority Will: A Case Study of Misinformation, Manipulation, and the Oregon Initiative Process, 87 OREGON LAW REVIEW 1025 (2009). SSRN Link
  • We the People and Other Constitutional Tales: Teaching Constitutional Meaning Through Narrative, 41 THE LAW TEACHER 247 (2007). SSRN Link
  • The Little Red Schoolhouse: Pierce, State Monopoly of Education and the Politics of Intolerance, 20 CONSTITUTIONAL COMMENTARY 101 (2003). SSRN Link
  • Population Politics: Reproductive Rights and U.S. Asylum Policy, Georegetown Immigration Law Journal article, 14 GILJ 881 (2000). SSRN Link
  • Population Control and Sustainability: It’s the Same Old Song but With a Different Meaning, 27 ENVIRONMENTAL LAW REVIEW 1111 (1997). SSRN Link
  • From Malthus to the Millennium: Population Law and Policy, 27 ENVIRONMENTAL LAW REVIEW 1091 (1997).
  • Reservations About Women: Population Policy and Reproductive Rights, 29 CORNELL INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL 1 (1996). SSRN Link
  • The Tradition of Reproduction, 37 ARIZONA LAW REVIEW 453 (1995). SSRN Link
  • Hispanics and Health: Inadequate Medical Insurance and the Health Problems to Prove It, 2 LEGAL BRIEFS 11 (1992).
  • Spare the Rod and Spoil the Judge? Discipline of Federal Judges and the Separation of Powers, 41 DEPAUL LAW REVIEW 59 (1991).
  • Order of Proof and Opening Statements, Chapters 11 and 12 OREGON JUDGES CRIMINAL BENCHBOOK (Oregon Judicial Department 1987).
  • Court Reform Legislation, OREGON LITIGATION JOURNAL (1985-86).
  • Judicial Administration, Chapter 17 in 1985 OREGON LEGISLATION (Oregon State Bar 1985).
  • Judicial Commission Puts Forth Wide-Ranging Agenda, THE ADVOCATE, Vol. 4, No. 2, Spring 1985, at 35.

Latest Presentations


  • Supreme Court Review (panel). American Constitution Society Supreme Court Review/Preview, Portland, Oregon. October 10, 2014.

  • At a national summit on reproductive health policy. Washington, D.C. May 2014.

  • Roe at Risk.” American Constitution Society, Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, Oregon. April 2014.

  • “Intersections in Reproductive Technology.” Yale University. April 2014.

  • Roe at 41.” Lewis & Clark and Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon. January 2014.

  • “The General Welfare Clause of the Constitution.” League of Woman Voters, Portland, Oregon. 2013.

Latest Appointments

Appointments and Service

  • Advisory member to the Oregon Law Commission Judicial Selection Work Group.