Christopher Mathis joins the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law faculty as an assistant professor of law in the 2023-2024 academic year. Mathis comes to Maryland Carey Law from the University of Iowa College of Law, where he was a visiting assistant professor, and the University of Virginia, where he was both an American Bar Foundation/Access Lex Institute Doctoral Fellow in Legal and Higher Education and a Southern Regional Education Board Pre-Doctoral Fellow.
Mathis holds a JD from the University of South Carolina School of Law and a PhD in higher education from the University of Virginia. His scholarship explores access and equity within higher education and the philosophical assumptions within legal education.
“Professor Mathis is doing critical work toward increasing access to higher education,” said Maryland Carey Law Dean Renée McDonald Hutchins. “We are delighted to welcome him to the Maryland Carey Law community and deeply appreciate his perspective in the intellectual life of the law school.”
Mathis’s scholarship investigates the framework and incentive structures within higher education’s environments to identify factors contributing to inequality in U.S. colleges and universities. His research on these topics spans several legal areas, including constitutional and tort law, education law and policy, and ethics. Through his research and advocacy, Mathis also works with legislators across the country to draft laws codifying educational reparations for past harms, such as medical testing on certain populations without consent or even knowledge.
The South Carolina native’s most recent work has appeared in the Washington and Lee Law Review, University of Colorado Law Review, Journal of College Student Development, and Education Sciences, among other outlets.
Maryland Carey Law, said Mathis, is an ideal setting to further his work. “I was really enthusiastic about coming to Maryland,” he reflected, “because of the collegial and energetic faculty, sophisticated students, and welcoming, thoughtful dean.”
Baltimore was also a big draw. “I am excited,” he added, “to be in a more cosmopolitan area where you can have multiple viewpoints at the table.”
In the 2023-2024 academic year, Mathis is teaching Torts, Education Law, and his Higher Education and the Law Seminar. The seminar delves into legal aspects of higher education, including, free speech on campus, academic freedom, affirmative action, and campus policing.
As a professor, Mathis creates a dynamic classroom environment by mixing songs and video into his discussion-based lectures. He is also known for producing classroom plays with students acting as judges, juries, witnesses, and advocates in landmark cases. “You are not just witnessing the law,” he impresses on 1Ls, “you are a person who is going to be a change agent.”