Deborah Anthony

Deborah Anthony Anchor link to John Martin video Watch a video about her teaching style

Meet Deborah Anthony
Assistant Professor,
Legal Studies



  • B.A. Philosophy: University of Utah
  • M.A. Government: University of Texas – Austin
  • J.D. Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.


  • I began college intending to be a doctor but experienced a major change of plans when I fell in love with philosophy after taking an "I believe I owe it to students to help them reach their fullest potential." ethics class out of curiosity. I then went on to law school, planning to forego a lucrative salary in favor of representing the disadvantaged. I worked with low-income individuals in a variety of legal matters for several years, which I found very fulfilling. But when I began teaching part-time on the side, there was no going back for me. Practicing law was “work,” and teaching was the fun part. So I moved into teaching full-time and eventually ended up here at UIS teaching Legal Studies. I have two daughters and too many pets if you ask me (and not enough if you ask them).

Interesting facts:

  • I plowed my way through college and graduate school. I was not of legal drinking age my entire first year of law school. By the time I had finished law school and was practicing law, I had just turned 23, with plenty of time to change careers a time or two.
  • Despite having lived in Park City, Utah – five minutes from some of the best ski resorts in the country – I never took up skiing. I have already broken five bones at different times and wanted to save my legs. So far, so good.

Research interests:

  • My broad interests are in Constitutional law and race, gender, and class, but lately I’ve been focusing more on gender and class. I am particularly interested in employment discrimination, including employment practices that may not intentionally harm select groups but still tend to have that effect.

Major project underway:

  • I am currently working on a project examining parental leave policies at colleges and universities nationwide, and whether they exhibit discriminatory or illegal elements. I am also working on an analysis of name change laws across the country that allow women to easily change their name upon marriage but do not always allow men to do the same thing.
  • I am also the newly-appointed Co-Director of the UIS Pre-Law Center.

Learning philosophy:

  • I believe I owe it to students to help them reach their fullest potential. Even the best students have room for improvement, and I’m not doing my job if I don’t challenge them to go further. As such, I have a reputation as being tough, but fair. I try to make assignments meaningful and practical, and I aim to get students actively engaged in the learning process. My classes typically involve a lot of discussion, group work and other activities to not only keep people awake but interacting with each other and with the material. Most importantly, I aim to help students learn to think critically and independently. They will ultimately remember little of the details and facts learned in class, but hopefully the skills of critical thinking will last a lifetime.

What is it like to take my class?

Advice to prospective students:

  • Follow your passion. Take some time to find out what you really love – not just what you (or your family) have always planned on. Use your first two years – or more, if necessary – to explore. Don’t be afraid to try new things and to change your path if you think it’s right. You can do this and still be practical about it. You will be exposed to things you’ve never experienced and you should take full advantage of that. In the end, if it’s forced, it won’t work. Do what makes you happy, and the rest will fall into place.