At a Glance
- Career History: University of Michigan, Professor of Law (2009-2010 ); Washington University in St. Louis, Professor (2004-2009);Harvard University, Assistant Professor of Law (1998-2004)
- Hometown: Chappaqua, N.Y.
- Alma Mater: Yale University, B.A., 1989; Yale University, J.D., 1993
Path to Power
Schlanger grew up outside of New York City in Chappaqua, N.Y. She attended Horace Greeley High School, where she edited the school's literary magazine. In 1985, she began her first stint at Yale University. She majored in history and, after graduating, spent a year in New York as a fact-checker for the New Yorker.
Schlanger returned to New Haven for law school in 1990. As a student, she worked to win day-care benefits for teenage mothers and won the Vinson Prize for this sort of clinical casework. She was also the book reviews editor of the Yale Law Journal. As soon as she finished law school, she headed to Washington.
DHS has been criticized for overstepping its bounds when it comes to civil liberties, while simultaneously doing its job to detain illegal immigrants, question travelers at airports and report on threats from right-wing extremist groups. At DHS, Schlanger works with groups like Arab-Americans that are vulnerable to civil liberties violations by the department.
"Our engagement efforts involve encouraging all Americans to take an active role in their government, and ensuring that the government is responsive to and protects the rights of all Americans," she told Congress in 2010.
Schlanger's former bosses include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and current Solicitor General and Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, who was dean of Harvard Law School during Schlanger's last year there.
Schlanger is married to Samuel Bagenstos, principal deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Obama Justice Department.