Carolina Law Expands Outstanding Faculty With Two New Hires

September 24, 2020

UNC School of Law is pleased to share that over the next 12 months, Professors Ifeoma Ajunwa and Osamudia James will join our faculty, bringing with them expertise in labor and employment law, privacy law, law and technology, anti-discrimination law and ethics, race and the law, torts, administrative law and education law.

Ifeoma Ajunwa

Ifeoma Ajunwa will join Carolina Law in January 2021. Her research interests are focused on the intersection of law and technology, with special emphasis on the ethical governance of workplace technologies. She also studies and writes on diversity and inclusion in the labor and market workplace.

Ajunwa will direct Carolina Law’s newly formed Artificial Intelligence and Decision-Making Research Program, which will serve as a link between the law school and a multidisciplinary data science initiative that is under development on main campus. 

Ajunwa currently teaches in the Law, Labor Relations, and History Department of Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations School and is an associated faculty member at Cornell Law School. She is a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard Law School and an affiliate of the Center for the Study of Inequality at Cornell.

Ajunwa received the NSF CAREER Award in 2019. In 2018, she was the recipient of the national prestigious Derrick A. Bell, Jr. Award from AALS. Ajunwa’s scholarly articles have been published in top law reviews like the California Law Review, Northwestern Law Review, Fordham Law Review, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, and Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, among others. She has also been published in popular media such as, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, the Harvard Business Review, Scientific American, and Forbes, where she now contributes a monthly column. Her forthcoming book, “The Quantified Worker,” which is under contract with Cambridge University Press, examines the role of technology in the workplace and its effects on management practices as moderated by employment and anti-discrimination laws.

Ajunwa earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University in Sociology with an emphasis on Organizational Theory and Law and Society. Her doctoral research on reentry received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and honorable mention from the Ford Foundation. Prior to graduate school, she earned a law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. She graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from UC Davis. “I chose Carolina Law because it’s a world class law school located in one of the best places to live in the United States,” says Ajunwa. “The deeply brilliant yet collegial faculty also made it easy for me to imagine that I could gain both the mentorship and leadership opportunities I was seeking to further advance in my writing and career.”

Osamudia James

Osamudia James will join Carolina Law in July 2021. She comes to Carolina Law from the University of Miami School of Law, where she is professor of law, Dean’s Distinguished Scholar, and associate dean for diversity, equity, and community. While at Miami Law, James also served as vice dean from May 2016 through June 2019 and as acting dean from July 2018 through January 2019. She also serves as the associate provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University of Miami. 

James teaches in the areas of torts, administrative law, race and law, and education law. Her scholarship explores the interaction of law and identity in the context of public education. Her work has appeared in the nation’s leading law journals, including Michigan Law ReviewNew York University Law ReviewMinnesota Law Review, Iowa Law Review and many others. She contributes regularly to The New York Times and, most recently, The Washington Post and Ms. Magazine. She was a 2014 co-recipient of the national prestigious Derrick A. Bell, Jr. Award from AALS.

James received a B.A cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001, a J.D. cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2004, and an LL.M. from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she served as a William H. Hastie Fellow from 2006 to 2008. Previously, she was an associate with King & Spalding in Washington, D.C.

“My family and I are beyond excited to join Carolina Law,” says James. “I’m looking forward to being challenged and encouraged to grow by virtue of being in the company of Carolina Law’s outstanding and accomplished faculty, and to enthusiastically adopting the law school and University’s mission of serving the students and people of North Carolina.”

“Ifeoma and Osamudia will be joining a historically excellent faculty of scholars and teachers,” says Martin H. Brinkley ’92, dean and Arch T. Allen Professor of Law. “They have both richly demonstrated their ability to be institutional and scholarly leaders and outstanding teachers. I have full confidence that they will use their gifts and experience to serve our school and the greater university community with dedication and commitment.”