Associate Professor of Law
Ph.D., University of Chicago
J.D., Northwestern University School of Law
A.B., cum laude, Princeton University
Areas of Expertise
Critical Race Theory
Trusts and Estates
Sheldon Lyke is an Associate Professor. His research focuses on anti-discrimination laws regarding racial and sexual minorities in a comparative context. His current research explores anti-affirmative action practices in higher education. His work is increasingly observing property law institutions in our shared social world --particularly the realms of higher education, fashion, and natural resources (i.e., parks, commons, and shared green spaces) -- and understanding their role in creating and ameliorating social inequality.
Before joining the UB Law faculty, Lyke was an assistant professor at Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law and at Whittier Law School. He also has held positions as a visiting assistant professor at University of California Irvine School of Law (Fall 2016) and Northwestern University School of Law (2012 thru 2013).
In 2011, he was appointed the inaugural Dorr Legg Law and Policy Fellow at the Williams Institute (UCLA School of Law).
Lyke has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago, a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, and an A.B. cum laude in sociology from Princeton University.
“Not a Preference, or Why Malia and Sasha Obama Need Affirmative Action” (accepted for publication; work in progress; draft available)
“Can Affirmative Action Offer a Lesson in Environmental Conservation and Fighting Enclosure?” in The Cambridge Handbook of Commons Research Innovations (eds. Shelia Foster and Chrystie Swiney) (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2020)
“Making Strange Laws,” 35 U. Pa. J. Int’l. L. 675 (2014)
“Is Resistance to Foreign Law Rooted in Racism?,” 109 Nw. U. L. Rev. Colloquy (2014)
“Diversity as Commons,” 88 Tul. L. Rev. 317 (2013)
“Catch Twenty-Wu? The Oral Argument in Fisher v. University of Texas and the Obfuscation of Critical Mass,” 107 Nw. U.L. Rev. Colloquy 209 (2013)
“Brown Abroad: An Empirical Analysis of Foreign Judicial Citation and the Metaphor of Cosmopolitan Conversation,” 45 Vand. J. Transnat’l L. 83 (2012)
“Lawrence v. Texas as an Eighth Amendment Case: Sodomy and the Evolving Standards of Decency,” 15 Wm. & Mary J. Women & L. 633 (2009)
Trusts and Estates (casebook) (Chartacourse) (forthcoming 2020)
Selected Presentations, Lectures and Conferences
Panelist, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” sponsored by the Black Law Students Association at Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University, February 19, 2019.
“The Chicken Little Commons: The Socially Constructed Crisis in Legal Education,” presented at Celebrating Commons Scholarship Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons at Georgetown University Law Center, October 6, 2018.
“Can Antiproperty Save the Commons?,” presented at Ninth Annual John Mercer Langston Writing Workshop at UCLA School of Law, July 6, 2018.
Commentator, “Medicalization and the New Civil Rights.” Paper by Craig Konnoth. Ninth Annual John Mercer Langston Writing Workshop at UCLA School of Law, July 6, 2018.
“Why Malia and Sasha Obama Need Affirmative Action,” presented at:
- Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law, December 2017.
- Seton Hall University School of Law, November 2017.
- Eighth Annual John Mercer Langston Writing Workshop at Drexel University Thomas Kline School of Law. July 2017.
- 2016 Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, New Orleans, Louisiana. June 2016.
Commentator, “‘Black Like Obama’ Revisited: Partial Postracialism’s Permanence.” Paper by Amos N. Jones. Eighth Annual John Mercer Langston Writing Workshop at Drexel University Thomas Kline School of Law, July 7-8, 2017.
Discussant, “Involuntary Heroes: Hurricane Katrina’s Impact on Civil Liberties.” Book by Mitchell F. Crusto. Author Meets Reader panel at the annual meeting of the Law and Society Association in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 2016.
“Social Identity as Commons,” presented at the 2014 Critical Race Studies Annual Symposium: Whiteness as Property: A Twenty-Year Appraisal, at the UCLA School of Law, October 2014.
“The New American Stranger? Political Resistance to Foreign Law in the United States,” presented at the 2014 Culp Colloquium at the Center on Law, Race, and Politics, Duke University School of Law, May 2014.
“The Thirty-Five Year Conservative Colorblind Campaign to Eliminate Affirmative Action in America.” Guest lecture presented at the University of Chicago Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows Workshop, June 2013.
“Diversity as Commons,” presented at:
- 2013 Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association, Boston, Massachusetts, June 2013.
- Hofstra University School of Law, December 2012.
- Whittier Law School, November 2012.
- SUNY Buffalo Law School, October 2012.
“Racism and Citation to Foreign Law,” presented at Globalization and Race Fourth Annual Spring 2013 Symposium of the Notre Dame Journal of International and Comparative Law at Notre Dame Law School, February 2013.
Panelist. “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin,” sponsored by the Black Law Students Association at Northwestern University School of Law, February 7, 2012.