Kathryn A. Sabbeth

Professor of Law, and Director of the Civil Legal Assistance Clinic

(919) 962-2515
3060 Van Hecke-Wettach Hall

Areas of Expertise

  • Access to Justice
  • Civil Procedure
  • Civil Rights and Discrimination
  • Critical Legal Theory
  • Housing Law
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Law and Society
  • Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility
  • Legal Profession
  • Poverty Law
  • Public Interest Law
  • Public Law and Legal Theory


Kathryn Sabbeth is a professor of law at the University of North Carolina, where she teaches and writes about public interest litigation, access to justice, and housing. Forthcoming publications include Racial Capitalism in the Civil Courts (Columbia Law Review 2022); Eviction Courts (St. Thomas Law Journal 2022); and The Gender of Gideon (UCLA Law Review 2022). Recent shorter commentary includes Market-Based Law Development (Law and Political Economy Blog); Erasing the “Scarlet E” of Eviction Records (the APPEAL); and Opinion: The eviction moratorium limbo laid bare the system’s extreme dysfunction (Washington Post). Throughout her work, Sabbeth explores the potential for law to promote equality and the limits of that potential. Her courses at Carolina Law have included the Civil Legal Assistance Clinic, Civil Lawyering Process, Employment Discrimination, and Legal Ethics and Social Justice. In the Civil Legal Assistance Clinic, Sabbeth’s students represent tenants and workers seeking racial, economic, and gender justice. Before joining the Carolina Law faculty, Sabbeth taught at Georgetown University Law Center, where she served as a teaching fellow and supervised federal civil rights litigation related to employment discrimination, education equity, and public access to information.

Sabbeth received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Michigan, Phi Beta Kappa, and her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellow, an editor for the Review of Law and Social Change, and the recipient of the Christian Jarecki (‘98) Memorial Prize for outstanding work in NYU’s clinical program. During law school, she worked at organizations including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Foreclosure Prevention Project of South Brooklyn Legal Services, and the workers’ rights firm of Vladeck, Waldman, Elias and Englehard, P.C. Following graduation, Sabbeth joined the Housing Unit of South Brooklyn Legal Services. Sabbeth also clerked for the Honorable James C. Francis IV in the Southern District of New York and the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


  • LL.M., Georgetown University
  • J.D., New York University Law School
  • B.A., Sociology, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Selected Publications

The Gender of Gideon (with J. Steinberg), 69 UCLA L. REV. 1130 (2023).

Eviction Courts, 18 U. ST. THOMAS L.J. 359 (2022).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress | Document Link

Racial Capitalism in the Civil Courts (with T. Brito, J. Steinberg & L. Sudeall), 122 COLUM. L. REV. 1243 (2022).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Erasing the "Scarlet E" of Eviction Records, THE LAB (2021).
Document Link

Market-Based Law Development, L. & POL. ECON. PROJECT (July 21, 2021).
Document Link

(Under)Enforcement of Poor Tenants’ Rights, 27 GEO. J. ON POVERTY L. & POL'Y 97 (2019).
Westlaw | Lexis/Nexis | SSRN | Hein | BEPress

Housing Defense as the New Gideon, 41 HARV. J.L. & GENDER 55 (2018).
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Simplicity as Justice, 2018 WIS. L. REV. 287 (2018).
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The Prioritization of Criminal Over Civil Counsel and the Discounted Danger of Private Power, 42 FLA. ST. U. L. REV. 889 (2015).
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What's Money Got to Do With It?: Public Interest Lawyering and Profit, 91 DENV. U. L. REV. 441 (2014).
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