American legal scholar and critic. Williams received her B.A. from Wellesley College and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. Currently a professor at Columbia Law School, she is a leading proponent of critical race theory, which argues that race is a principal determinant in the legal system and in culture generally. Her monthly column, "Diary of a Mad Law Professor," appears in the
Nation. Her books include The Alchemy of Race and Rights: A Diary of a Law Professor (1991), The Rooster's Egg (1995), Seeing a Color-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race (1997), and Open House: Of Family, Friends, Food, Piano Lessons, and the Search for a Room of My Own (2004). Williams also co-edited The Blind Goddess: A Reader on Race and Justice (2011). She has received a MacArthur Fellowship, along with numerous other honors. See also thenation.com/authors/patricia-j-williams.