Mehrsa Baradaran

Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives & Robert Cotten Alston Associate Chair in Corporate Law

B.A., Brigham Young University
J.D., New York University 


Banking Law

Biographical Information: 

Mehrsa Baradaran joined the University of Georgia School of Law faculty in the fall of 2012. She currently serves as the school's associate dean for strategic inititatives and as the holder of the Robert Cotten Alston Associate Chair in Corporate Law. As associate dean, she focusses on diversity and inclusion efforts, and national and international faculty scholarship recognition. Her teaching portfolio includes Contracts and Banking Law.

Her scholarship includes the books How the Other Half Banks and The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, both published by the Harvard University Press. In 2018, The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap was awarded the PROSE Award Honorable Mention in the Business, Finance & Management category. Baradaran was also selected as a finalist at the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year Awards for the book in the category of history/biography.

Baradaran has also published articles including "Regulation by Hypothetical" in the Vanderbilt Law Review, "It's Time for Postal Banking" in the Harvard Law Review Forum, "Banking and the Social Contract" in the Notre Dame Law Review, "How the Poor Got Cut Out of Banking" in the Emory Law Journal, "Reconsidering the Separation of Banking and Commerce" in the George Washington Law Review and "The ILC and the Reconstruction of U.S. Banking" in the SMU Law Review. Of note, her article "The New Deal with Black America" was selected for presentation at the 2017 Stanford/Harvard/Yale Junior Faculty Forum.

Baradaran and her books have received significant national and international media coverage and have been featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Slate, American Banker and Financial Times; on National Public Radio’s “Marketplace,” C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” and Public Broadcasting Service’s “NewsHour;” and as part of TEDxUGA.

She came to UGA from Brigham Young University, where she taught banking regulation, property and administrative law. During her time there, she was named the 1L Professor of the Year by the Student Bar Association. Previously, Baradaran was an Academic Research Fellow at the New York University School of Law and practiced law in the financial institutions group at Davis, Polk & Wardwell in New York City.

She earned her bachelor's degree cum laude from Brigham Young University and her law degree cum laude from NYU, where she served as a member of the New York University Law Review.

Publications & Activities


The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, Harv. Univ. Press (2017).

How the Other Half Banks, Harv. Univ. Press (2015).


Postal Banking's Public Benefits, 3 Am. Affairs 18 (2018).

Regulation by Hypothetical, 67 Vand. L. Rev. 1247 (2014) ( 57 Corp. Pract. Commentator (2015). 

It's Time for Postal Banking, 127 Harv. L. Rev. F. 165 (2014).

Banking and the Social Contract, 89 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1283 (2014).

How the Poor Got Cut Out of Banking, 62 Emory L.J. 483 (2013).

Reconsidering the Separation of Banking and Commerce, 80 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 385 (2012).

The ILC and the Reconstruction of U.S. Banking, 63 SMU L. Rev. 1143 (2010).


Banks: A Broken Social Contract, Democracy Journal, June 28, 2016.

Payday Lending isn’t Helping the Poor. Here’s What Might, The Washington Post, June 28, 2016.

Credit Is a Double-Edged Sword, The Atlantic, Apr. 26, 2016.

Postal Banking Worked—Let’s Bring it Back, The Nation, Jan. 6, 2016

How Going Postal Could Help the Underbanked, Bloomberg, Nov. 19, 2015

It's Time for a Public Option in Banking, The Harvard Law Record, Nov. 16, 2015.

If the U.S. Government Treated Poor People as Well as It Treats Banks, The Atlantic, Oct. 15, 2015.

Postal Banking: A Lifesaver for America's Poor, American Banker, Sept. 24, 2015.

Hold the Champagne on GE Capital's Breakup, American Banker, Apr. 13, 2015.

Maggie Walkers Bank, The Huffington Post, Feb.13, 2015.

The Shrews that Tame Wall Street?, The Huffington Post, Nov. 25, 2014.

A Short History of Postal Banking,, Aug. 18, 2014.

The Post Office Banks on the Poor, New York Times, Feb. 7, 2014.