Blanche B. Cook
J.D., University of Michigan Law School
B.A., Vassar College
Blanche Cook joined Wayne State University Law School in fall semester 2014, teaching Criminal Procedure: Adjudication.
She earned her bachelor of arts degree at Vassar College and her law degree at the University of Michigan Law School. Her primary areas of expertise are appellate practice, criminal law and procedure, critical race theory, employment discrimination, evidence, federal courts, sex trafficking and trial advocacy.
Most recently, she served as an assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, where she specialized in large-scale drug and sex-trafficking prosecutions. As a federal prosecutor, she has briefed and/or argued more than 40 federal appeals.
Professor Cook clerked for the Honorable Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She was also an associate at Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone in Detroit and Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago, where she specialized in employment discrimination, labor law, and sexual harassment litigation and prevention training. While a practicing attorney, she taught and/or lectured at American Baptist College and Vanderbilt University.
She has established herself as a leading expert on sex trafficking by problematizing the entire spectrum of sex-trafficking prosecutions and the commercialization and exploitation of women and girls. She is actively involved in shaping the emerging nationwide discourse on sex trafficking and victims' rights as it relates to evidentiary issues, race-class-gender profiling and sex-trafficking statutes. She writes in the areas of victims' rights, critical race theory, human rights, race and gender discrimination, criminal procedure, black feminist legal theory, womanist thought and the normative gaze of identity. Her current research trajectory focuses on a critical analysis of sex-trafficking prosecutions.
Her years of practice in the public and private sector inform her teaching philosophy and passion. Her mission is to deconstruct and make accessible the principles and practices of law in ways that are meaningful to students, not only for professional development, but also as a means of augmenting the role that advocacy plays within law and litigation.
Professor Cook is a frequent and sought-after speaker at workshops and conferences, and she is active in promoting community among critical legal scholars, critical race theorists, feminists and womanists in legal academia and beyond.