portrait of professor kris franklin

Kris Franklin

Professor of Law
Director, Academic Initiatives
Co-Director, Initiative for Excellence in Law Teaching

Kris Franklin

Professor of Law
Director, Academic Initiatives
Co-Director, Initiative for Excellence in Law Teaching

An academic innovator, Kris Franklin brings a talent for creative and unconventional thinking to her teaching and to her leadership of NYLS’s Initiative for Excellence in Law Teaching.

Professor Franklin is an expert in legal pedagogy and experiential learning in law school, and a national leader in the field of academic preparedness. She is frequently asked to speak and lead workshops for other law faculty, and has served as President of both the AALS Sections on Teaching Methods and on Academic Support. She is the founder of the New York Academic Support Workshop, and a founding Board member of the Association of Academic Support Educators.

At New York Law School she teaches Contracts and Principles of Legal Analysis to first-year classes, where she continues to experiment with pioneering methods of teaching academic and lawyering skills. She also teaches Family Law and leads the Negotiation, Counseling and Interviewing courses for upper-level students, and both established and supervises New York Law School’s Dispute Resolution Team. Professor Franklin came to New York Law School from NYU School of Law, where she taught and coordinated faculty and worked to develop a curriculum in critical legal thinking in its Lawyering Program.

Professor Franklin first became involved in legal scholarship as a law student, where she served as an Editor-in-Chief of the New York University Review of Law & Social Change. To guide her teaching she also draws on her experiences as a staff attorney working with a diverse clientele in the Brooklyn Office of the Legal Aid Society. There she focused on housing and family law, conducting numerous trials, hearings, and appellate arguments while also litigating public benefits and immigration cases.

Professor Franklin’s scholarship focuses on the rhetorics of legal decision-making and on legal pedagogy. Her published works, both academic and non-academic, often mirror her interests in gender roles, diverse family structures, and sexual identity. Her books include an in-role case file for preparing practice-ready law students and a guide for law professors teaching legal reasoning and academic preparedness.

A longtime activist—an alumna of direct action organizations such as the Lesbian Avengers and the Women’s Health Action Mobilization—Professor Franklin was a union delegate for the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys and a member of the ALAA Bargaining Committee. She has been active in numerous professional organizations, serving on several committees of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and Board of Directors of the Pratt Area Community Council.


Strategies & Techniques for Teaching Academic Success Classes (2015).

The Lawyer’s Practice (2011).

Empathy and Reasoning in Context: Thinking about Antigay Bullying, 23 TULANE JOURNAL OF LAW & SEXUALITY 61-111 (2014).

“Baton Bullying”: Understanding Multi-Aggressor Rotation in Anti-Gay Harassment Cases (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trangender, and Queer Equality Theme Issue), 70 NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD REVIEW 174-183 (2013).

“….See Erie.”: Critical Study of Legal Authority, 31 U.A.L.R. Law Review, 109-134 (2008).

Sim City: Teaching “Thinking Like a Lawyer” in Simulation-Based Clinical Courses, 53 NYLS Law Review 861-875 (2008-2009).

“Theory Saved My Life,” 8 New York City Law Review 599-631 (2006).

“Homophobia and the ‘Matthew Shepard Effect’ in Lawrence v. Texas.” 48 New York Law School Law Review 657–695 (2003–2004).

“The Rhetorics of Legal Authority Constructing Authoritativeness, the “Ellen Effect,” and the Example of Sodomy Law.” 33 Rutgers Law Journal 49–104 (2001).

“Lesbians, Legal Theory and Other Superheroes, Book Review of Ruthann Robson’s Sappho Goes to Law School: Fragments in Lesbian Legal Theory.” 25 New York University Review of Law & Social Change 301–330 (1999) (with S.E. Chinn).

“The Revolution Will Not Be Liberalized,” Minnesota Review, 40 (1993).


Book Review of Gary Olson’s “Empathy Imperiled: Capitalism, Culture and the Brain,” 99 RADICAL TEACHER 81-82 (2014).