Jennifer B. Wriggins

Sumner T. Bernstein Professor of Law

Professor Wriggins is a nationally recognized scholar who has published groundbreaking work on race, racism, and torts. She has been a speaker in recent months at numerous law schools (via Zoom) on expanding the first-year Torts course to include a focus on race and racism. Her first published article, Rape, Racism and the Law (Harvard Women’s Law Journal, 1983), has been reprinted in abridged form many times since its publication. She has also published on health law, domestic violence, insurance, and climate change (as related to flood insurance), with a frequent focus on race and gender. Many of her other articles are frequently cited and excerpted in books; some have influenced court decisions and led to legislative changes.

Professor Wriggins is the author of The Measure of Injury: Race, Gender, and Tort Law (NYU Press 2010, co-authored with Professor Martha Chamallas of Ohio State University). She graduated magna cum laude with distinction in philosophy from Yale College and graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School. Upon receiving her J.D., Professor Wriggins served as clerk to Hon. Edward T. Gignoux, U.S. District Judge in Portland, Maine. Prior to joining the faculty of Maine Law, she was a partner at Pressman, Kruskal & Wriggins in Cambridge, Massachusetts; served as an assistant attorney general in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office; and was in private practice in Maine.

Professor Wriggins was a visiting scholar at The George Washington University School of Law and American University-Washington College of Law in 2013-2014, and was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and Boston University School of Law in Spring 2005. At Maine Law, she served as associate dean for research from 2009–2013 and associate dean for academic affairs from 2015-2017. For three years, she co-directed the Information Privacy Law program with Professor Peter Guffin.

Professor Wriggins is a member of the American Law Institute, the Family Law Section of the Maine State Bar Association, and is former chair of the Association of American Law Schools Torts and Compensation Systems section.

Selected Publications

The Color of Property and Auto Insurance: Time for Change, FLA. ST. U. L. REV., 2023 [PDF].

How to Include Issues of Race and Racism in the 1-L Torts Course: A Call for Reform, 23 Rutgers RACE & L. REV. 259 (2021) [PDF]

Blog post, Intentional Tort Remedies Grounded in Civil Recourse Theory: How Torts Can Fulfill Its Promises Through a New Kind of Insurance, JOTWELL, December 10, 2020. [JOTWELL]

Blog post, Teaching Torts with a Focus on Race and Racism, RACE AND THE LAW PROF BLOG, February 13, 2020. [Race and the Law Prof Blog]

THE MEASURE OF INJURY: RACE, GENDER, AND TORT LAW (2010) (with Prof. Martha Chamallas). [Amazon]

Op-Ed, Maine’s new vaccination law balances democracy and public health, BANGOR DAILY NEWS, July 5, 2019. [BDN]

Domestic Violence and Gender Equality: Recognition, Remedy, and (Possible) Retrenchment, 49 U. TOL. L. REV. 617 (2018). [PDF]

JOTWELL Review of Ronen Avraham & Kimberly Yuracko, Valuing Black Lives: A Constitutional Challenge to the Use of Race-Based Tables in Calculating Tort Damages, 106 CAL. L. REV. 325 (2018).

Op-Ed, Maine’s made progress on domestic violence, but the job isn’t done, BANGOR DAILY NEWS, November 6, 2018. [BDN]

Op-Ed, The ‘rule of law’ is critical to the strength of our democracy, BANGOR DAILY NEWS, May 9, 2018. [BDN]

Op-Ed, The Senate health bill risks Mainers’ lives. But it’s a tragedy we can prevent., BANGOR DAILY NEWS, July 12, 2017. [BDN]

Commentary on Keeping Cases from Black Juries, 73 WASH. & LEE L. REV. ONLINE 401 (2016). [WASH. & LEE]

In Deep: Dilemmas of Federal Flood Insurance Reform, 5 UC IRVINE L. REV. 1443 (2015). [PDF]

Flood Money: The Challenge of U.S. Flood Insurance Reform in a Warming World, 119 PENN ST. L. REV. 361 (2014). [PDF] [SSRN]

Op-Ed, While Antarctica Melts, Congress Ensures Beach Houses are Covered, TALKING POINTS MEMO, May 16, 2014. [Talking Points]

Mandates, Markets, and Risk: Auto Insurance and the Affordable Care Act, 19 CONN. INS. L.J. 275 (2013). [SSRN] [PDF]

Academic Commentary, The Power of Citizens’ Initiatives and the Marriage Vote in Maine, January 17, 2013. [JURIST]

Is the Health Insurance Individual Mandate ‘Unprecedented’?: The Case of Auto Insurance, (Apr. 6, 2012). [SSRN]

Op-Ed., Individual Mandates are Nothing New: Auto Insurance Laws Show that Government is Capable of Creating Solutions to Collective Problems, such as Health Care, PORTLAND PRESS HERALD, Mar. 18, 2012. [PPH]

Constitution Day Lecture, Constitutional Law and Tort Law: Injury, Race, Gender, and Equal Protection, 63 ME L. REV. 263 (2010). [PDF] [SSRN]

Automobile Injuries as Injuries with Remedies: Driving, Insurance, Torts, and Changing the “Choice Architecture” of Auto Insurance Pricing, 44 LOY. L.A. L. REV. 69 (2010). [PDF][SSRN]

Damages In Tort Litigation: Thoughts on Race and Remedies, 1865-2007, 27 REV. LITIG. 37 (2007). [PDF] [SSRN]

Whiteness, Equal Treatment, and the Valuation of Injury in Torts, 1900-1949 (2007), reprinted in FAULT LINES: TORT LAW AS CULTURAL PRACTICE (David Engel & Michael McCann eds., 2009). [SSRN]

Torts, Race, and the Value of Injury, 1900-1949, 49 HOW. L.J. 99 (2005). [PDF] [SSRN]

Toward A Feminist Revision of Torts, 13 AM. U. J. GENDER SOC. POL’Y & L. 139 (2005). [PDF] [SSRN]

Domestic Violence in the First-Year Torts Curriculum, 54 J. LEGAL EDUC. 511 (2004). [PDF]

Forward: Law, Labor, & Gender, Symposium, Law, Labor, and Gender, 55 ME. L. REV. 1 (2003) [PDF]

Interspousal Tort Immunity and Insurance “Family Member Exclusions”: Shared Assumptions, Relational and Liberal Feminist Challenges, 17 WIS. WOMEN’S L.J. 251 (2002). [PDF] [SSRN]

Domestic Violence Torts, 75 S. CAL. L. REV. 121 (2001). [PDF] [SSRN]

Fashionable Genetic Explanations in the Courtroom: Litigating Personal Injuries Based on Genetic Risk, 3 J. BioLaw & Bus. 65 (2000). [PDF]

Parental Rights Termination Jurisprudence: Questioning the Framework, 52 S.C. L. REV. 241 (2000). [PDF] [SSRN]

Marriage Law and Family Law: Autonomy, Interdependence, and Couples of the Same Gender, 41 B.C.L. REV. 265 (2000). [PDF] [SSRN]

Kinship and Marriage in Massachusetts Public Employee Retirement Law: An Analysis of the Beneficiary Provisions, and Proposals for Change, 28 NEW. ENG. L. REV. 991 (1994).[PDF]

Genetics, IQ, Determinism, and Torts: The Example of Discovery in Lead Exposure Litigation, 77 B.U. L. REV. 1025 (1997). [PDF] [SSRN]

Rape, Racism, and the Law, 6 HARV. WOMEN’S L.J. 103 (1983). [PDF] [SSRN]