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WVU Law - Professor Atiba Ellis

Atiba R. Ellis

Atiba Ellis

Professor of Law

  • Member, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights West Virginia State Advisory Committee


  • J.D., Duke University School of Law, 2000
  • M.A., Duke University, 2000
  • A.B., cum laude with Distinction in History, Duke University, 1996


Atiba R. Ellis joined the College of Law faculty in 2009. His research focuses on voting rights law with specific attention to how varying conceptions of the right to vote exclude voters on the margins. He has written about the economic entry barriers posed by voter ID laws, the theoretical effects of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, and related topics. Professor Ellis’s current research focuses on voting rights theory and how ideology affects the scope of the right to vote. He has also written on critical legal theory and legal history. Professor Ellis is a frequent speaker at academic conferences, university and law school lectures, and community events about voting rights law, how race and gender affect the law of politics, diversity issues, and other matters related to the law of politics.


  • When Political Domination Becomes Racial Discrimination: NAACP v. McCrory and the Inextricable Problem of Race in Politics, 68 S. C. L. Rev. 517, 538 (2017)
  • A Price Too High: Efficiencies, Voter Suppression, and the Redefining of Citizenship (Southwestern Law Review, 2014)
  • It Ain’t My Fault: Hip Hop, Confrontation, and Contemplation from the Jazz Perspective, in Hip Hop and the Law: The Key Writings that Formed the Movement (Pamela Bridgwater, et. al, eds. Carolina Academic Press, 2014)
  • Polley v. Radcliffe: A New Way to Address an Original Sin, 115 W.V. L. Rev. 777 (2012)
  • Citizens United and Tiered Personhood, 44 John Marshall L. Rev. 717 (2011)
  • The Cost of the Vote: Poll Taxes, Voter Identification Laws, and the Price of Democracy , 86 Denver L. Rev. 1023 (2009)

Teaching Experience

  • Associate Professor of Law, West Virginia University College of Law, 2009 to present
  • Legal Writing Instructor, Howard University School of Law, 2006 to 2009

Professional Experience

  • Associate, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, LLP, 2002 to 2006
  • Law Clerk, The Honorable Theodore McKee, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 2001-2002
  • Law Clerk, The Honorable James A. Beaty, Jr., U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, 2000-2001
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