The Catholic University of America


      Suzette Malveaux is Professor of Law and former Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Professor Malveaux also served as Director of the Law & Public Policy Program in the fall of 2008. She teaches Civil Procedure, Complex Litigation, Civil Rights Law and Fair Employment Law.  She co-authored Class Actions and Other Multi-Party Litigation; Cases and Materials (West, 2006, 2012), and has published numerous law review articles that explore the intersection of civil procedure and civil rights. She has presented at dozens of conferences in this area. Malveaux started her teaching career at the University of Alabama School of Law in 2003 and joined the Columbus School of Law in 2006.  She will be visiting the University of Iowa College of Law in the fall of 2017 and also visited Washington and Lee University School of Law in the fall of 2014.  Prior to academia, she was a class action litigation specialist who appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court and argued before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

     Professor Malveaux graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University. She earned her J.D. from NYU School of Law, where she was an Associate Editor of the Law Review, a Root-Tilden Scholar and a Center for International Law Fellow. At NYU, she was awarded the NAACP LDF Earl Warren Scholarship, the American Association of University Women Fellowship, the Vanderbilt Medal for “extraordinary contributions” to the law school, and the Judge Rose L. & Herbert Rubin Law Review Prize, for making the “greatest contribution in public, international or commercial law.” Upon graduation, she clerked for the federal district court (SDNY) for the Honorable Robert L. Carter.   
     Professor Malveaux has been consulted by the media to provide commentary on various legal issues involving the Supreme Court, the civil legal system and civil rights. Her appearances include CNN, MSNBC, Fox News 5, Al Jazeera English and the PBS NewsHour. She has been interviewed by various media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The National Law Journal, and the Congressional Quarterly, and her work has been recommended by various blogs.
     As a class action specialist, she has tackled complex legal matters in high profile civil rights cases, at the federal trial and appellate court levels. For example, she represented over 1.5 million women in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, the largest employment discrimination class action in U.S. history to date. She practiced law in Washington, DC at Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs.

     For six years, Professor Malveaux served as pro bono counsel to the plaintiffs in Alexander v. State of Oklahoma, a suit filed against Tulsa by victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot.  As part of a team of attorneys, she represented the riot victims before the U.S. federal courts, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Organization of American States) and the U.S. House of Representatives.  Her work has been featured in various documentaries and news outlets.
     Professor Malveaux enjoys participating in races for various charities and traveling internationally. 





Research and Writing

Select Publications:


  • A Diamond in the Rough: Trans-Substantivity of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Its Detrimental Impact on Civil Rights, 92 WASH. U. L. REV. 455 (2015).

  • The Power and Promise of Procedure: Examining the Class Action Landscape After Wal-Mart v. Dukes, 62 DePaul L. Rev. 659 (2013).

  • The Jury (Or More Accurately the Judge) Is Still Out for Civil Rights and Employment Cases Post-Iqbal, 57 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 719 (2012-2013).
  •           • Cited in Woods v. City of Greensboro, 855 F.3d 639, 652 (4th Cir. 2017).
  • Class Actions and Other Multi-Party Litigation: Cases and Materials, St. Paul, Minn: West Group (2d ed. 2006, 3d ed. 2012) (co-authored with Dean Robert H. Klonoff & Professor Edward K.M. Bilich), with annual update and teacher’s manual.
  • How Goliath Won: The Future Implications of Dukes v. Wal-Mart, 106 NW L. Rev.Colloquy 34-52 (2011), available at:
  • Class Actions at the Crossroads: An Answer to Wal-Mart v. Dukes, 5 Harvard L. & Policy Rev. 375-414 (Summer 2011).
  • Front Loading and Heavy Lifting; How Pre-Dismissal Discovery Can Address the Detrimental Effect of Iqbal on Civil Rights Cases, 14 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 65 (2010). 
          • Cited by Judge Richard A. Posner in Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400, 412 (7th Cir. 2010) (dissent). 
  • Is it the “Real Thing”?  How Coke’s One-Way Binding Arbitration May Bridge the Divide Between Litigation and Arbitration, 2009 J. Disp. Resol. 77.
  • Statutes of Limitations: A Policy Analysis in the Context of Reparations Litigation, 74 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 68 (2005).
  • Fighting to Keep Employment Discrimination Class Actions Alive: How Allison v. Citgo’s Predomination Requirement Threatens to Undermine Title VII Enforcement, 26 Berkeley J. Emp. & Lab. Law 405 (2005). 

Research available at SSRN Author page:

In Her Words ...

“The legal system is not a level playing field. When we can help equalize things, we should."

– Suzette M. Malveaux



Office: 400 Law School
The Catholic University of America
3600 John McCormack Rd., NE
Washington, D.C. 20064

Phone: 202-319-5140



  • Civil Procedure
  • Complex Litigation
  • Civil Rights Law
  • Fair Employment Law


NYU School of Law, 1994

Harvard University, magna cum laude, 1988


Areas of Expertise

  • Civil Procedure
  • Class actions
  • Complex Litigation
  • Civil Rights
  • Employment Discrimination


  • Visiting Professor of Law, University of Iowa College of Law, Fall 2017
  • Visiting Professor of Law, Washington & Lee University School of Law, Fall 2014
  • Assistant Professor of Law, University of Alabama, 2003-2006
  • Senior Associate, Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, 1998-2003
  • Associate, Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil  Rights & Urban Affairs, 1995-1998
  • Law Clerk, The Hon. Robert L. Carter, U.S. District Court (S.D.N.Y.), 1994-1995