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Vernellia R. Randall

Professor Emeritus


School of Law


Email: Vernellia Randall


A professor at the School of Law since 1990, Vernellia Randall writes extensively on and speaks internationally about race, women, and health care. She is the recipient of the Ohio Commission on Minority Health Chairman’s Award, and she was named one of the “Top 10 Most Influential African-Americans” on the 2001 Black Equal Opportunity Employment Journal list.

Professor Randall hasn’t always been associated with the study or practice of law. “I grew up during Jim Crow in the South,” she says. “If you were a black woman going to college, you either became a nurse or a teacher.” She chose nursing. She did like the profession, though, and had worked in nursing homes while in high school. As a nurse, Professor Randall provided public health nursing services and served as an administrator for a statewide health program in Alaska.

Involved in public health work for more than 15 years, Professor Randall focused on eliminating disparities in health care for minorities and the poor. She believed a thorough knowledge of the law would help her become more effective in her mission, so she enrolled in law school. After graduating in 1987 from Lewis and Clark Law School, she became an associate with a Portland, Oregon, law firm specializing in health care law and issues relating to health and disability insurance coverage. She also served as an adjunct faculty member at Lewis and Clark College.

She soon turned to teaching full time, wanting to make a “greater intellectual impact.” She has never regretted the decision. “I love the ‘a-ha!’ moments that students get,” she says.

Since coming to the School of Law, Professor Randall has also served as a consultant to the Clinton administration advisory committee on health care reform and as a grant reviewer for the National Institute of Health. She was also an expert witness in the State of Missouri v. Philip Morris trial. She has been recognized in Who's Who in the World since 1995 and Who's Who in the United States since 1998.

Professor Randall retired from the University of Dayton School of Law in April 2013.

Since Retirement, Professor Randall has continued her work on "Race, Racism and the Law" and racial health disparities. In particular, she co-founded Racial Justice Now! Racial Justice Now successfully advocated for the elimination of school suspension for Pre-K through 3rd grade. In 2014, Professor Randall published the first Ohio School Discipline Report Card and published the third edition in 2019.

Professor Randall continues to make abstracts of legal scholarship available on "Race, Racism, and the Law," a web encyclopedia she has been publishing continuously since 1995.

Professor Randall manages a Facebook page on racism and the law that has 5000+ followers as of 2020.

Since retirement Professor Randall continues to lecture both nationally and internationally, having traveled to England, Japan, Iran, and Switzerland.

According to Professor Randall, her most important activity has been being a "stay-at-home" nanna for her grandsons.


J.D., Lewis and Clark College, 1987
M.S.N., University of Washington, 1978
B.S.N., University of Texas (Austin), 1971

Areas of Law

Health Care
Race and Racism
Academic Support

Selected Publications

Built in Obsolescence: The Coming End to the Abortion Debate, Suffolk J. of Health & Biomedical L. (Fall 2008) (with Tshaka Randall).

Dying While Black (Seven Principles Press, 2006).

Eliminating Racial Discrimination In Health Care: A Call for State Health Care Anti-Discrimination Law, 10 Dapple J. Health Care L. 1 (2006).

The Misuse of the LSAT: Discrimination Against Blacks and Other Minorities in Law School Admissions, 80 St. John's L. Rev. 107 (2006).

African Americans, Nursing Home Care and the Law, Chapter in Vulnerable Populations in the Long Term Care Continuum (Paul R. Katz, Mathy D. Mezey, and Marshall B. Kapp, eds., Springer Publishing 2004)

When Doctors Practice Racial Discrimination, Chronicle of Higher Education (2003)

The Vienna Declaration and Program of Action with Background Information, Washington and Lee Race and Ethnic Ancestry Law Journal (2003)

Eliminating the Slave Health Deficit: Using Reparations to Repair Black Health, 11 Poverty & Race (Nov/Dec 2002)

Racial Discrimination in Health Care in the United States as a Violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 14 The University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy 45 (Fall 2002)

Roots and Remedies: Krieger, Randall, Omi and Delgado on Health Equity, Praxis: News & Notes (Fall 2002)

Compromised Lives: Racism, Health, and Sustainable Development, in Cry of the Excluded: Poverty, Racism & Sustainable Development (2002)

Using the Law to Eliminate Racial Discrimination in Health Care, Chapter in A Project of the Applied Research Center’s Grass Roots Innovative Policy Program (Makani Themba Nioxn, ed., 2001)

Health Care for Minorities in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial Disparity in the Health Care System, 12 Health Care Law 4 (1999)

Increasing Retention and Improving Performance: Practical Advice on Using Cooperative Learning in Law Schools, 16 Thomas Cooley Law Review 2 (1999)

On Training "Junk Yard Dogs" or Grading and Cooperative Learning in Law Schools, Cooperative Learning and College Teaching (1999)

Planning for Effective Legal Education (Feb 1999)

Smoking, the African American Community, and The Proposed Tobacco Settlement, 21 U. Toledo Law Review 677-698 (1998)

Two Black Women Talking about the Promotion, Retention and Tenure Process in Law Schools, Chapter in Black Women in the Academy: Promises and Perils (Lois Benjamin, ed., University Press of Florida 1997)

Race and Racism in American Law (1997)

Critiquing Section 1115 Medicaid Waivers, 26 Seton Hall Law Rev.1069 (1996)

The Hollow Piercing Scream: An Ode for Black Faculty in the Tenure Canal, 7(1) Hasting Women (1996)

Slavery, Segregation and Racism: Trusting the Health Care System Ain't Always Easy!: An African American Perspective on Bioethics, 15 St. Louis Public Health Law Journal 191-235 (1996)

Taking a Community Approach to Preventing the Creation of a Biological Underclass, Chapter in Families & Communities in Partnership: School, Communities, Church & Human Services 43-68 (Patricia Voydanoff, ed., 1996)

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Law Students and Performance, 26 Cumberland Law. Rev. 63 (1995)

Impact of Managed Care Organizations on Ethnic Americans and Underserved Populations, 5 Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 224-237 (1994)Reprinted in The Color of Social Policy (King Davis and Tricia B. Bent-Goodley, eds., Fall 2000)

Ethnic Americans, Long Term Health Care Providers and the Patient Self-Determination Act, Chapter in Long Term Health Care Providers and the Patient Self-Determination Act (Marshall Kapp, ed., 1994)

Does Clinton, 60 Brooklyn Law Rev. 167-237 (1994)

Cooperative Learning: Practical Advice, Law Teacher 6-7 (Fall 1994)

1993 Guide to Legal Scholarship by Midwestern People of Color (1994)

Managed Care, Utilization Review and Financial Risk-Shifting: Compensating Patients for Health Care Cost Containment Injuries, 17 University of Puget Sound Law Review 1-86 (1993)

Race Against the Court: The Supreme Court and Minorities in Contemporary America, Trial 51-52 (with Giradeau A. Spann, 1993)

I am an Affirmative Action Baby!

On Obsessions or When Being Black is Not Enough