Skip to Main Content

Melissa Saunders

Professor of Law

Education

  • J.D. (Armour Law Scholar, Order of the Coif), University of Virginia (1987)
  • B.A. (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), Yale University (1983)

Saunders grew up in Chapel Hill. After graduating from law school, she served as law clerk first to Judge J. Dickson Phillips Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and then to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist of the United States Supreme Court. She then practiced law for three years in the litigation department of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A. in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1993, she returned to Chapel Hill to serve a second term as law clerk to Judge Phillips and to teach part-time at the Law School. She joined the law school faculty on a full-time basis in 1994. She was the 1997 recipient of the McCall Teaching Award. Her principal research and teaching interests are constitutional law, federal jurisdiction, civil procedure, civil rights, and election law.

Selected Publications

Show All Publications

  • A Cautionary Tale:  Hunt v. Cromartie and the Next Generation of Shaw Litigation, 1 ELECTION L.J. 173 (2002). [Document Link]
  • Of Minority Representation, Multiple Race Responses, and Melting Pots: Redistricting in the New America, 79 N.C. L. REV. 1367 (2001). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, Hein]
  • Reconsidering Shaw: The Miranda of Race-Conscious Districting, 109 YALE L.J. 1603 (2000). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, Hein]
  • The Dirty Little Secrets of Shaw, 24 HARV. J.L. & PUB. POL'Y 141 (2000). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, Hein]
  • Equal Protection, Class Legislation, and Color-Blindness, 96 MICH. L. REV. 245 (1997). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, Hein]
Go to Top of Page
UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106


If you are seeing this, you are either using a non-graphical browser or Netscape 4.x (4.7, 4.8, etc.) and this page appears very plain. If you are using a 4.x version of Netscape, this site is fully functional but lacks styles and optimizations available in other browsers. For full functionality, please upgrade your browser to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Firefox.