Sherley Cruz

Assistant Professor of Law
Sherley Cruz
Contact Information
Law 74
  • Cross-Cultural Communications
  • Fair Housing
  • Language Access
  • Low-Wage Workers
  • Movement Lawyering

Sherley Cruz

Assistant Professor of Law

Professor Sherley Cruz began working with the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2019 teaching and supervising students in the Advocacy Clinic. Her scholarship explores the intersections of access to justice, low-wage workers’ rights, and cross-cultural communications. An up-and-coming scholar, her most recent law review article, Essentially Unprotected, received UT Law’s Wilkinson Junior Research award and was selected for presentation at the 2021 Equality Law Scholars’ Forum and the 2021 AALS New Voices of Poverty Law Workshop. Cruz currently serves as a faculty fellow for UTK’s Office of Community Engagement and Outreach and served on UTK’s Junior Faculty Fellows Advisory Council. In the spring of 2022, Cruz received UTK’s Angie Warren Perkins Chancellor’s Honors award for promise as a scholar and professor. She is the co-chair of the AALS Clinicians of Color Committee, on the Advisory Board of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy, and serves on the Executive Board of the AALS Civil Rights Section.

Prior to joining UT Law, Cruz was a Practitioner in Residence with American University’s Washington College of Law’s Civil Advocacy Clinic (WCL) where she supervised law students on economic justice cases such as wage theft, unemployment insurance, and community legal education matters. Washington College of Law’s Public Interest Program recognized Cruz’s commitment to public interest by awarding her with the 2018 Public Interest Program Faculty Award. Cruz was the Director of Litigation and Education and a Clinical Fellow at Suffolk University Law School with the housing discrimination testing program and accelerator practice. While at Suffolk, she supervised law students handling housing discrimination cases and conducted community legal education regarding fair housing duties and responsibilities. She also created and taught an innovative community lawyering seminar that explored the lawyer’s role in community organizing and campaigns.

Cruz started her teaching career as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Law where she led the Employment Rights Clinic.

Before becoming a professor, Cruz worked as a staff attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services in the Employment Law Unit. There she represented low-wage and immigrant workers with unemployment, wage and hour, discrimination, workplace harassment, and working condition issues, in addition to supporting immigrant worker centers with organizing campaigns and community actions. Cruz has also served as the Outreach Coordinator for the Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts’s Fair Labor Division.Born in the Dominican Republic, Cruz has a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A., cum laude, from Boston University. She has been an active leader in community and bar associations. Her former service includes chair of the DC Hispanic Bar Public Service Committee, vice president of the Massachusetts Association of Hispanics, the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, and the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. The National Law Journal and Connecticut Law Tribune recognized Cruz as a 2015 Boston Rising Star. In 2012, the Massachusetts Bar Association and Lawyers Weekly recognized Cruz as an Up and Coming Lawyer.

  • Education & Experience
  • Publications

J.D., Boston University School of Law
B.A., Boston University

Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

Full list of SSRN scholarly papers