Katherine Macfarlane

Katherine MacfarlaneBBI Faculty Fellow, Associate Professor of Law, J.D.


Katherine Macfarlane is an Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Syracuse University College of Law’s Disability Law and Policy Program. She teaches and writes about Disability Law, Civil Rights Litigation, and Constitutional Law. Professor Macfarlane previously served as Special Counsel to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, where she worked on the Department’s overhaul of the regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Prior to joining academia, Professor Macfarlane served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the New York City Law Department and as an associate in Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan’s Los Angeles and New York offices. After law school, she clerked for the District of Arizona and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Professor Macfarlane has previously served as chair of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Disability Law and co-founded the first affinity group for disabled law professors and allies. She frequently presents and writes about students, lawyers, and professors with disabilities, and the challenges they face in obtaining reasonable accommodations. Professor Macfarlane has testified before the Louisiana Legislature and addressed the Congressional Arthritis Caucus in Washington, D.C. She is frequently quoted by media outlets, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Nation, NPR, and Bloomberg News. She received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Northwestern University, and her J.D., cum laude, from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. She is admitted to practice in California and New York and is fluent in Italian and Spanish. Professor Macfarlane was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis when she was 13 months old and identifies as a person with disabilities.