Lisa Alexander

Associate Professor of Law

On Leave


J.D., Columbia University School of Law
B.A., Wesleyan University (with Honors)

Teaching Areas:
Business Organizations/Corporations
Community Lawyering
Housing & Urban Community Development Law

Recently Taught Courses
711 Contracts
817 Business Organizations I
940 Housing & Community Economic Development


A native New Yorker, Professor Alexander joined the faculty in Fall 2006. Her research focuses on the role of private law in contemporary urban redevelopment, public/private partnerships in urban real estate, low-income housing law and policy, community economic development, local government law and regional governance, and the role of non-profit organizations and social entrepreneurs in urban reform. Professor Alexander teaches Contracts I, Business Organizations I, and Housing & Community Economic Development Law. 

Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Alexander practiced in the Chicago Office of Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C., where she focused on non-profit organizations, community economic development, affordable and fair housing, and residential and commercial real estate. She was also awarded a competitive Equal Justice Works Fellowship (formerly NAPIL), and with it worked as a staff attorney at the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. 

During law school, she interned at the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where she was an Earl Warren Civil Rights Scholar. She was also identified as an "Emerging Leader" by the National Congress for Community and Economic Development (NCCED).  Before law school, she worked with non-profit organizations, as a Municipal Securities Analyst for PaineWebber Incorporated and as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs.

Professor Alexander is affiliated with the UW Institute for Research on Poverty, the UW Center for Financial Security, the UW Center on Community Economic Development and the UW Center for Non-Profits. She is a former Associate Editor of the Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law, the premiere scholarly publication in the field of community development law.  Professor Alexander was recently appointed to the Wisconsin State Advisory Committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Professor Alexander is admitted in Illinois and in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Recent Scholarship

Occupying the Constitutional Right to Housing, 94 Neb. L. Rev. 245 (2015)

Cyberfinancing for Economic Justice, 4 Wm & Mary Bus. L. Rev. 309 (2013)

Hip Hop and Housing:  Revisiting Culture, Urban Space, Power, and Law, 63 Hastings L. J. 803 (2012)

The Promise and Perils of "New Regionalist" Approaches to Sustainable Communities, 38 Fordham Urb. L. J. 629 (2011)

Stakeholder Participation in New Governance: Lessons From Chicago's Public Housing Reform Experiment, 16 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol'y 117 (2009).

Afterword - Part III:  Reflections on Success and Failure in New Governance and the Role of the Lawyer, 2010 Wisc. L. Rev. 737

A Sociolegal History of Public Housing Reform in Chicago, 17 J. Aff. Hous. & Comm. Dev. L. 155 (Fall 2007/Winter 2008).

Professor Alexander's Papers are available on SSRN at:

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