Health Law Expert Seema Mohapatra to Join SMU Dedman School of Law

Seema Mohapatra, a leading expert in health law and bioethics, will join SMU Dedman School of Law as a tenured full professor in August 2022. Professor Mohapatra will hold the title M.D. Anderson Professor in Health Law and teach Torts, Critical Race Theory, and Race, Health, and Justice.

Mohapatra has been visiting SMU’s Dedman School of Law as the Murray Visiting Professor of Law during the current academic year. Mohapatra said, “I could not be more excited to join the brilliant faculty at SMU Dedman School of Law. I look forward to many more years of collaborations with my colleagues, who are not only thought leaders in their fields, but also kind and welcoming. Most of all, I have been impressed with the engaged, thoughtful, and intelligent students at SMU, and I look forward to both teaching them and learning from them.”

“We are delighted to welcome Professor Mohapatra to our SMU Law faculty,” said Jennifer Collins, Judge James Noel Dean of SMU Dedman School of Law. “Her extraordinary experience and pathbreaking scholarship, combined with her passion for teaching, makes her a great addition to the law school.”

Prior to joining SMU, Mohapatra was a tenured professor with over a decade of experience, most recently at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where she twice earned the Dean’s Fellow title and award for outstanding scholarship. Upon graduation from law school, she practiced transactional health law and compliance at two large firms in Chicago, Sidley & Austin and Foley & Lardner.

Mohapatra’s research centers around health care equity, the intersection of biosciences and the law, assisted reproduction and surrogacy, reproductive justice, and public health law. Her research during the COVID-19 pandemic has focused on how public health laws and policies impact marginalized populations, particularly people of color. She is an international authority on assisted reproduction and surrogacy, and she has ongoing collaborations related to those areas with scholars around the world. Mohapatra’s work has been published in various top law reviews, including Emory Law Journal, University of Colorado Law Review, Harvard Law and Policy Review, and Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics, and numerous peer reviewed journals, such as Hastings Center Report.

Mohapatra is currently a co-investigator on a Making a Difference Grant from the Greenwall Foundation, where she is surveying laws related to periviable births with a focus on how they could be more equitable for nontraditional families. Mohapatra is the co-editor of “Feminist Judgments: Health Law Rewritten” (with Lindsay F. Wiley) (forthcoming 2022, Cambridge University Press). She is also a co-author of the third edition of the textbook “Reproductive Technologies and the Law” (with Judith Daar, I. Glenn Cohen, and Sonia Suter) (Carolina Academic Press). She serves on the Board of Directors of American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics and the Ethics Advisory Committee at the UNMC Global Center for Health Security. She also co-chairs the Health Justice: Engaging Critical Perspectives in Health Law and Policy Initiative, with Brietta Clark, Lindsay Wiley, and Ruqaiijah Yearby.

Mohapatra is a frequent national speaker and is often consulted by the media about a wide variety of health law and bioethical topics, and her work has been featured in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Bloomberg News, and on National Public Radio.

Mohapatra earned a J.D. degree from Northwestern University School of Law and has a master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in Chronic Disease Epidemiology from Yale University. She earned a bachelor’s of arts in Natural Sciences (with a minor in Women's Studies) from Johns Hopkins University.