Faculty Profile: Sherley Cruz

Sherley CruzUniversity of Tennessee College of Law

Sherley Cruz began working with the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2019 teaching and supervising students in the Advocacy Clinic. Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Cruz was a practitioner in residence with American University’s Washington College of Law’s Civil Advocacy Clinic and supervised law students on economic justice cases such as wage theft, debt claims, and related housing matters.

Professor 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.  Professor Cruz started her teaching career as a visiting assistant professor at Boston University School of Law where she led the Employment Rights Clinic. Her scholarship explores the intersections of access to justice, low-wage immigrant workers’ rights, and cross-cultural competency.

Before becoming a professor, Professor Cruz worked as a staff attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services in employment law. Her work there included representing 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. Professor 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, Professor 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. Some of her service includes chair of the DC Hispanic Bar Public Service Committee, vice president of the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Professors, 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 Professor Cruz as a 2015 Boston Rising Star. In 2012, the Massachusetts Bar Association and Lawyers Weekly recognized Professor Cruz as an Up and Coming Lawyer. In the spring of 2018, American University Washington College of Law’s Public Interest Program recognized Professor Cruz’s commitment to public interest by awarding her with the 2018 PIP Faculty Award.