Kimberly West-Faulcon

Professor of Law
James P. Bradley Chair in Constitutional Law

BA, summa cum laude, Duke University, Phi Beta Kappa
JD, Yale Law School


Professor Kimberly West-Faulcon teaches Constitutional Law I, Constitutional Law II, Intelligence, Testing and the Law and Employment Discrimination Law. She researches the legal implications of theories of intelligence and fair and proper use of standardized tests, antidiscrimination and constitutional law. Her work seeks to expose the theoretical and legal implications of modern research from the fields of psychology, statistics and psychometrics and bridge science and law to offer new insights into the study of intelligence. Her academic articles, which have been the subject of scholarly responses, news articles and opinion commentary, appear in highly regarded law journals, including the Journal of Constitutional Law, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, UCLA Law Review, Wake Forest Law Review and the Yale Law Journal.

Professor West-Faulcon graduated from Yale Law School where she was a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal.  After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Stephen R. Reinhardt on the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and was one of twenty-five law students selected annually from across the nation by the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP to pursue a social justice legal project in the organization of her choice.  Beginning as a Skadden Fellow in the New York office of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc (“LDF”) in 1996, she went on to direct the Los Angeles office of the LDF from 1998 until 2005 as Western Regional Counsel and Director.  Professor West-Faulcon obtained her undergraduate degree Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University, where she graduated summa cum laude, receiving numerous academic honors including the Duke University Faculty Scholar Award and the University Rankin Award for Constitutional Law.  While an undergraduate, she studied the Political Economy and Economic History of Great Britain at Oxford University in Oxford, England. 

Professor West-Faulcon’s scholarship and teaching are grounded in her cutting edge career as a civil rights attorney and litigator, where her work focused on the legal standard for proper use of standardized tests in elementary, secondary and higher education.  Her cases include representation of African-American, Latino and Caucasian elementary and high school students in a legal challenge to a high stakes testing policy in Johnston County, North Carolina and African-American and Latino students asserting their interest in the test-based admissions policy of selective examination high schools in Boston, Massachusetts.  On the higher education level, Professor West-Faulcon sued UC Berkeley for discrimination in admissions on behalf of African-American, Latino and Filipino students after the elimination of race-based affirmative action on the theory that the institution’s overreliance on the SAT violated the U.S. Constitution and federal civil rights law. In addition to these testing-related education cases, she also litigated employment discrimination issues.  Professor West-Faulcon challenged discriminatory hiring and promotional practices as lead counsel for the African-American plaintiff classes in a successful multi-million dollar lawsuit against the clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch and represented African-American police officers in enforcement of the terms of a consent decree addressing race discrimination claims by African-American, Latino and Asian-American police officers challenging the promotion practices of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Featured in a 2011 exhibit at the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles as a “Southern California Freedom’s Sister,” Professor West-Faulcon’s significant accomplishments have also been praised in the company of other successful lawyers and professionals.  In addition to her selection as a “Southern California Super Lawyer” in 2004, 2005, and 2006 and a “Rising Star Lawyer Under 40” in 2004 by Los Angeles Magazine, she was recognized In 1999 by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the top lawyers under the age of 40 “making their mark in the legal world” and in the 1999 millennial issue of Ebony magazine as one of Ebony’s “Ten for Tomorrow” (along with Jesse Jackson, Jr., Lauryn Hill, Serena Williams, and Sean Combs) “who will almost certainly redefine their fields in the next millennium.”  Professor West-Faulcon has also been featured, quoted and interviewed extensively by national media such as CNN, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education and NPR and provided legal commentary in national media publications across the nation. She is a member of the State Bar of New York and California.  She has received additional bar admissions from the United States District Courts: Southern District of New York, Central District of California, Northern District of California and United States Courts of Appeal: First Circuit and Ninth Circuit.

* Although established by the NAACP, the LDF has been a separate and independent entity since 1940. LDF's founder and first Director-Counsel was the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Supreme Court Amicus Briefs

Selected Scholarship 

  • "A Reverse Discrimination Claim Run Amuck: The Simple and Complicated Truths in Fisher v. Texas," 6 UC Irvine L. Rev. __ (2016) (forthcoming).
  • "Obscuring Asian Penalty with Illusions of Black Bonus," 64 UCLA L. Rev. Disc. __ (2016) (forthcoming).

Other Publications

  • “Randolph County: A Game of Discovery,” Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CCALI), Copyright 2003 (civil procedure instructional computer game) (with Owen M. Fiss and Ronald F. Wright).


  • "The Real Cheating Scandal of Standardized Tests," Miller-McCune, August 22, 2011.

Representative Presentations           

  • Supreme Court Review, American Constitution Society, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA (April 6, 2016). 
  • Remembering the 13th Amendment Event, Loyola Law School Stereotype Awareness Coalition, American Constitutional Society, Black Law Students Association, La Raza, Employment Law Student Association, Pico Union Project, Los Angeles, CA (January 15, 2016).
  • More Intelligent Understandings of Intelligence, Posse Foundation, New York, NY  (January 13, 2016).
  • Rethinking Merit in the Selective Admissions Process, Symposium on Higher Education Access, UC Irvine School of Law, Irvine, CA  (September 25, 2015).
  • Countering Colorblindness Across the Disciplines, African American Policy Form and Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR  (June 3, 2015).
  • Post-Fisher Litigation Challenges, Fisher v. UT: Study on Race and Ethnicity in Admissions Workshop, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA  (March 19, 2015).
  • Bakke to Bollinger, Quotas to Affirmative Action, Diversity to Sponsorship, Langston Law Institute, Los Angeles, CA  (September 13, 2014).
  • Inequity in Education 60 Years after Brown, American Constitution Society San Diego Lawyer Chapter, San Diego, CA (May 31, 2014). 
  • Pledging Work (Not Faith) in Our Constitution: Deeds of Dissent, Constitution Day Keynote Address, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA  (September 17, 2013).
  • Roundtable on Law and Race, Stanford Law School, Palo Alto, CA  (April 27, 2013).
  • Fisher v. UT Austin: Impact on the APA Community, Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, UC Irvine School of Law, Irvine, CA  (Nov. 7, 2012).

  • Fisher v. UT Austin, American Constitution Society, Black Law Students Association, La Raza, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA (Oct. 30, 2012).

  • Race, Class, and Civil Rights Concerns in Transportation Policy, Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS), Amelia Island, FL (Aug. 4, 2012).

  • Civil Rights Law, Journalist Law School, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA (May 31, 2012).

  • Film Discussion Moderator & Commentator, The Barber of Birmingham: A Foot Solider in the Civil Rights Movement, Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles, CA  (Jan. 15, 2012).

  • Roundtable on Intersection of Critical Race Theory and Employment, Sixth Annual Labor and Employment Law Colloquium with Southwestern Law School, Loyola Law School, and UCLA’s Downtown Labor Center. Los Angeles, CA (Sept. 16, 2011).

  • Civil Rights and the K through 12 Education Reform Agenda, Curricular Development Workshop with Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) at Hilton Head, SC (July 26, 2011).

  • Civil Rights Law, Journalist Law School at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA (June 16, 2011).

  • More Intelligent Design: Testing Measures of Merit, Re-envisioning Law Colloquium at University of Houston Law Center in Houston, TX  (March 3, 2011).

  • Beyond the Movies: What is Really Happening in Public Schools, St. Thomas More Law Honor Society Speaker Series at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA  (February 17, 2011).

  • Teaching in a Transformative Era: The Law School of the Future, Law School Admissions and Exclusion, Bi-Annual Teaching Conference, Society of American Law Teachers, Honolulu, HI (December 11, 2010).

  • Twenty Years After the 1991 Civil Rights Act: What Does the Future Hold? Wake Forest Law Review, Wake Forest University Law School, Winston-Salem, NC (November 5, 2010).

  • Where Are We Now After Ricci v. DeStefano, Labor & Employment Law Workshop, Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Palm Beach, FL  (August 4, 2010).

  • Civil Rights Implications of High Stakes Testing, Journalist Law School, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA  (June 17, 2010).

  • Interventions: The Possibilities of Law, Workshop on “Post-Racial” Civil Rights Law, 2010 Mid-Year Meeting, American Association of Law Schools, New York, NY  (June 10, 2010).

  • Symposium Moderator, Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities, Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA  (May 25, 2010).

  • High Stakes Testing: The Erik V. v. Causby Litigation, Doctoral Course: Legal and Policy Issues in Education; Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership for Social Justice. School of Education, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA  (March 22, 2010).

  • Civil Rights, Black History Month Panel, Black Law Students Association, Pepperdine Law School, Malibu, CA  (February 25, 2010).

  • Keynote Presentation (with Terrence Roberts, one of the “Little Rock Nine”), Lessons From Little Rock, Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles, CA  (February 1, 2010).

  • Reading Ricci: The New Haven Firefighters’ Case at the AALS Hot Topics Panel Colorblind Disciplining of Race-Conscious Work: Critical Interventions Across the Academy, 2010 Annual Meeting of American Association of Law Schools (AALS), New Orleans, LA (January 8, 2010).

  • Intelligence, Testing and the Law, Colorblind Disciplining of Race-Conscious Work: Critical Interventions Across the Academy, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (June 2, 2009).

  • Reaching Forward: A Discussion between Academics and Advocacy Organizations, Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, WA (April 18, 2009).

  • Obama's Education Reform Agenda and No Child Left Behind, Forum on National Education Reform,  Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, CA (April 1, 2009).

  • More Intelligent Design, Race in Colorblind Spaces, Critical Race Studies Symposium, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA (Mar. 7, 2009).

  • Employing Tests: Practical Value vs. Psychometric Validity in Ricci v. DeStefano, Civil Rights and the Roberts Court, American Constitution Society, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA (Feb. 25, 2009).

  • The River Runs Dry: When Title VI Trumps State Anti-Affirmative Action Laws, UCLA School of Law Faculty Colloquium, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA (October 10, 2008).

  • The River Runs Dry: When Title VI Trumps State Anti-Affirmative Action Laws, Loyola Law School Faculty Workshop, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA (September 18, 2008).

  • France’s Statistical Color-Blindness in Question: Statistical Analysis as Proof of Racial “Effect” Discrimination, Perspectives on Anti-Discrimination and Affirmative Action Policies in the United States and France Bi-National Colloque, Center d’etudes de recherces interionales, Paris, France (May 20, 2008).

  • The River Runs Dry: When Title VI Trumps State Anti-Affirmative Action Laws, Conference of Asian Pacfic American Law Faculty (CAPALF) and Western Law Teachers of Color Conference, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Denver, CO (April 25, 2008).

  • Gender and Racial Diversity in the Legal Profession, American Bar Association Law Loyola Law Student Division, Diversity Day, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA (March 26, 2008).

  • Return of a Civil Rights Hero from Little Rock to Los Angeles, (with Dr. Terrance Roberts, one of the “Little Rock Nine” Cooper v. Aaron plaintiffs), Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles, CA (February 18, 2008).

  • The River Runs Dry: When Title VI Trumps State Anti-Affirmative Action Laws, UCLA Critical Race Studies Workshop, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA (February 4, 2008).

  • What Can We Do, Post-Michigan Proposal 2? National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) 63rd National Conference, Austin, TX (September 27, 2007).

  • More Intelligent Design, Southeastern Association of Law Schools New Scholars Presentation, Amelia Island, FL (August 2, 2007).

  • From Race Preference to Race Discrimination: Examining the Federal Obligation to Use Race After Proposition 209, Southeast/Southwest People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference, Florida A&M University College of Law, Orlando, FL (March 17, 2007).

  • From Race Preference to Race Discrimination: Does Proposition 209 Permit Remedial Affirmative ActionBoalt Hall Earl Warren Institute Equal Opportunity in Higher Education: The Past and Future of Proposition 209” Conference, UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law, Berkeley, CA (October 28, 2006).

  • Supreme Court Justice, Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education Supreme Court Moot, UCLA American Constitution Society, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA (October 24, 2006).

  • Legal Significance of California Proposition 209, African-American Attorneys in Downtown Firms “Tenth Anniversary of California Proposition 209” Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA (May 25, 2006).

  • Multi-Racial Litigation as Civil Rights Strategy in Abercrombie v. Gonzalez, Loyola Law School Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA), Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, CA (February 2006).

  • More Intelligent Design, National Black Law Journal 35th Anniversary Symposium, “Regression Analysis: The Status of African Americans in American Legal Education” UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA (November 18, 2005).

  • Using Casteneda v. UC Regents to Show How Post-Affirmative Action Schools Can Do More, UCLA Chicano-Latino Law Review Symposium “Proposition 209: Ten Years Later” UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA (November 1, 2005).

  • Distinguishing Corporate Social Justice as Profit Maximization, Center on Corporations, Law & Society at Seattle University School of Law, Fourth Annual Conference of the Equal Justice Society, “New Strategies for Justice: Linking Corporate Law with Progressive Social Movements” UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA (April 9, 2005).

  • Promoting Equal Opportunity Post-Grutter, African American Policy Forum & The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, "A Strategy Summit on Affirmative Action: Reclaiming the High Ground 50 Years After Brown, " Washington, DC (October 14, 2004).

  • Reform in the Los Angeles Police Department: Where do we go from here? Keynote Address,  The Urban Issues Breakfast Forum of Greater Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (July 30, 2004).