Professor Ruth-Arlene W. Howe first arrived at BC Law as a student in 1970. Now,
more than 30 years later, her hard work, passion, and commitment to diversity and social
justice as a student, alumna, and faculty member helped shape BC Law into what it is

Professor Howe has spent much of her life working for social justice. Calling upon her
life experiences as a daughter, wife, mother, and community activist, Professor Howe
dedicated her career to further the best interests of children, especially
African-American youth. As the first African-American female faculty member to achieve
tenure and the rank of full professor in the history of BC Law, Professor Howe enjoyed a
distinguished and varying academic career, teaching a variety of courses and seminars in
family law, elder law, legal interviewing and counseling, and professional
responsibility. Professor Howe was a founding faculty advisor to the Third World Law
Journal, now the Journal of Law and Social Justice, and an advisor to the Black Law
Student Association. 



Race Matters in Adoption, Family Law Quarterly (2008)


Children in Adoptive Families: Overview and Update (with Steven L. Nickman M.D., Alan A. Rosenfeld M.D., Paul Fine M.D., James C. MacIntyre M.D., Daniel J. Pilowsky M.D., Andre Derdeyn M.D., Mayu Bonoan Gonzales M.D., and Sally A. Sveda M.D.), Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (2005)


A Closed Mind is a Wonderful Thing to Lose, Cardozo Women's Law Journal (2003)

Contributions to Books


Adoption Laws and Practices: Serving Whose Interests?, Baby Markets: Money and the New Politics of Creating Families (2010)
Parenthood in the United States, Cross Currents: Family Law and Policy in the United States and England (2000)
Reflections, Daughters of Kings: Growing Up as a Jewish Woman in America (1997)
Appendix C: The Role of Law Schools (with Robert V. Ward Jr.), In Equal Justice: Eliminating the Barriers. Final Report of Supreme Judicial Court Commission to Study Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Court (1994)
Legal Rights and Obligations: An Uneven Evolution, Young Unwed Fathers (1993)

Works in Progress

Selected Professional Activities

The Challenges of Transracial Adoption, 2nd Brown Bag Luncheon of the Law School's Children's Rights Group in honor of National Adoption Awareness Month (2005)


A Dream Deferred, Boston College Law School Lectures and Presentations (2005)