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Jessica Waters

Assistant Dean, School of Public Affairs
Department of Justice, Law & Criminology

  • Additional Positions at AU

    Adjunct Professor, Washington College of Law
  • Jessica Waters is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology teaching Introduction to Law, Justice, Law and the Constitution, and Reproduction and the Law. Her research focuses on reproductive rights law, exploring questions related to state control over reproductive health care and women’s access to such care. Her recent work has focused on questions of whether a woman’s medical decisions during pregnancy and labor can form the basis for later child welfare proceedings and the intersections or religious liberty and reproductive rights.

    Prior to joining to joining the AU faculty full-time, Professor Waters was an adjunct professor at Washington College of Law and a litigator at WilmerHale, where she specialized in criminal defense and reproductive rights litigation and advocacy. She also clerked for the Honorable Emmet Sullivan on the D.C. District Court .

    Professor Waters coaches the award-winning undergraduate Mock Trial Team.

    Professor Waters serves as the Chair of the Children's Law Center Advisory Board, and is a guardian ad litem in the D.C. courts.
  • Degrees

    JD American University Washington College of Law
    BA American University

  • SPA - Dean's Office
  • Ward - 316

  • (202) 885-2427
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  • To request an interview for a
    news story, call AU Communications
    at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Partnerships & Affiliations

  • Children's Law Center

    Advisory Board


  • Summer 2014

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Grants and Sponsored Research

  • SPA Faculty Research Award (2010)
  • Distance Education Course Development Grant for Summer 09 (Reproduction and the Law)

Selected Publications

Jessica L. Waters, Testing Hosanna-Tabor: The Implications for Pregnancy Discrimination Claims and Employees’ Reproductive Rights, 9 Stanford J.C.R &J.L ___(forthcoming 2013)


Lynn A. Addington and Jessica L. Waters, Public Interest 101:Using the Law School Curriculum to Quell Public Interest Drift and Expand Student’ Public Interest Commitment (accepted for publication, American University of Gender, Social Policy and the Law, forthcoming Fall 2012)


Stephanie Sterling and Jessica Waters, Beyond Religious Refusals: The Case for Protecting Health Care Workers’ Provision of Care 34 Harvard Journal of Law and Gender 463 (2011)


Jessica Waters, In Whose Best Interest?: New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services v. V.M. and B.G. and The Next Wave of Court-Controlled Pregnancies, 34 Harvard Journal of Law and Gender 81 (2011)


            Jessica Waters, Women’s Leadership in the Reproductive Rights Movement, in Karen O’Connor, Gender and Women’s Leadership (Sage Publications 2010)


Jessica Waters, Gonzales v. Carhart: The Implications of the ‘Partial Birth Abortion Ban’ for Reproductive Rights and Women’s Health, in Lois Duke Whitaker, Women in Politics: Outsiders or Insiders (5th Edition Longman/Prentice Hall 2010)

Work In Progress

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