Sheila Foster

FLS Faculty Foster Sheila 240x240 SM

University Professor; Albert A. Walsh Professor of Law; Faculty Co-Director, Fordham Urban Law Center

Curriculum Vitae
SSRN (academic papers)
Telephone: 212-636-7771
Office: Room 8-101

Research and Teaching Areas

Land Use; Environmental Law; Civil Rights; Discrimination; Comparative


Sheila R. Foster is University Professor and the Albert A. Walsh Professor of Real Estate, Land Use and Property Law at Fordham University. She is also the faculty co-director of the Fordham Urban Law Center. She served as Vice Dean of the Law School from 2011-2014 and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2008-2011. Professor Foster is the author of numerous publications on land use, environmental law, and antidiscrimination law. Her early work was dedicated to exploring the intersection of civil rights and environmental law, in a field called “environmental justice.” Her most recent work explores the legal and theoretical frameworks in which urban land use decisions are made. Land use scholars voted her article on Collective Action and the Urban Commons (Notre Dame Law Review, 2011) as one of the 5 best (out of 100) articles on land use published that year. Professor Foster is the recipient of two Ford Foundation grants for her on environmental justice and urban development. Professor Foster is also the coauthor of a recent groundbreaking casebook, Comparative Equality and Antidiscrimination Law: Cases, Codes, Constitutions and Commentary (Foundation Press, 2012). She has taught and conducted research internationally in Switzerland, Italy, France, England, Austria, Colombia, Panama, and Cuba.

Selected Publications


  • COMPARATIVE EQUALITY AND ANTIDISCRIMINATION LAW: CASES, CODES, CONSTITUTIONS AND COMMENTARY (with David Oppenheimer, UC Berkeley and Sora Han, UC Irvine) (Foundation Press, 2012)
  • THE LAW OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: THEORIES AND PROCEDURES TO ADDRESS DISPROPORTIONATE RISKS (2nd Edition) (co-editor with Michael B. Gerrard, esq.) (American Bar Association, 2008)
  • FROM THE GROUND UP: ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM AND THE RISE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT (NYU Press, 2001) (with Luke Cole of the Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment at California Rural Legal Services)


  • The City As A Commons, work-in-progress (with Christian Iaione of LUISS Guido Carli in Rome)
  • Comparative Urban Governance for Lawyers, 42 FORDHAM URBAN LAW JOURNAL 1 (2015) (with Fernanda Nicola)
  • Breaking up Payday: Anti-Agglomeration Zoning and Consumer Welfare 75 OHIO STATE LAW JOURNAL 57 (2014)
  • The Mobility Case for Regionalism 47 UC DAVIS LAW REVIEW 63 (2013) (with Nestor Davidson)
  • Collective Action and the Urban Commons, 87 NOTRE DAME LAW REVIEW 57 (2011) (voted one of the 5 best (out of 100) law review articles on land use for 2011-12 year and republished in the LAND USE AND ENVIRONMENTAL LAW REVIEW)
  • Integrative Lawyering: Navigating the Political Economy of Urban Development, 95 CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW 1999 (2007) (with Brian Glick)
  • The City as an Ecological Space: Social Capital and Urban Land Use 82 NOTRE DAME LAW REVIEW 527 (2006)
  • Causation in Antidiscrimination Law: Beyond Intent vs. Impact, 41 HOUSTON LAW REVIEW 1469 (Spring 2005)
  • The World Trade Organization’s Anti-Discrimination Jurisprudence: Free Trade, National Sovereignty and Environmental Health in the Balance (with Ari Afilalo), 15 GEORGETOWN INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW JOURNAL 633 (2003)
  • Environmental Justice in an Era of Devolved Collaboration, 26 HARVARD ENVIRONMENTAL LAW REVIEW 459 (2002)
  • Intent and Incoherence, 72 TULANE LAW REVIEW 1065 (1998)
  • Justice From the Ground Up: Distributive Inequities, Grassroots Resistance and the Transformative Politics of The Environmental Justice Movement, 86 CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW 775 (1998)
  • Difference and Equality:  A Critical Assessment of the Concept of "Diversity", 1993 WISCONSIN LAW REVIEW 105


  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1988
  • B.A. with Honors, English, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1985