Catharine A. MacKinnon is a lawyer, teacher, writer, activist, and expert on sex equality. She has a B.A. from Smith College (1968), a J.D. from Yale Law School (1977), and a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University Graduate School (1987). She has been Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School since 1990, and Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School since Fall 1997. She has taught at Yale, harvard, Stanford, Minnesota, UCLA, University of Chicago, Osgoode Hall (Toronto), and the University of Basel (Switzerland).
Beginning in the mid 1970s, MacKinnon pioneered the legal claim for sexual harrassment as a form of sex discrimination. Beginning in 1983, with Andrea Dworkin, she conceived and wrote ordinances recognizing pornography as a violation of civil rights. The U.S. Supreme Court accepted her theory of sexual harassment in 1986. The Supreme Court of Canada adopted, in part, approaches that she created with the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) to equality (1989), pornography (1992), and hate speech (1991).
Professor MacKinnon is involved in litigation, legislation, and policy development on women's human rights domestically and internationally. She is currently representing pro bono Croatian and Muslim women and children victims of Serbian genocidal sexual atrocities seeking remedies under international law.