Hannah Brenner's research and teaching interests include torts, experiential learning, and the interplay of disparate power structures as related to gender equality in the legal profession and gender-based violence.
Professor Brenner is interested in the complex intersection of law and sexual/domestic violence, particularly as it is perpetrated in contexts involving positions of disparate power. She has written widely in this area, and was a co-project investigator on a National Science Foundation grant that explored the reporting of sexual violence by women in prison. She is the lead author on two articles that emerged from this project published in the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law and Pepperdine Law Review (forthcoming).
Her recent peer-reviewed essay, "Expanding the Pathways to Gender Equality in the Legal Profession," published in Legal Ethics, calls for innovative solutions to the rampant inequality that continues to plague women lawyers. She also studies the way in which the media portrays nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court through a gendered lens. Her article on this topic, "Rethinking Gender Equality in the Legal Profession's Pipeline to Power: A Study on Media Coverage of Supreme Court Nominees," was selected as a winner of the 2012 AALS New Voices in Gender paper competition. She is currently immersed in a related project that explores the stories of women who were shortlisted, but never nominated, to the Court.
Before coming to California Western, Professor Brenner was lecturer in law, director of externship programs, and co-director of the Frank J. Kelley Institute of Ethics and the Legal Profession at Michigan State University College of Law, where she was also a core faculty member of the Center for Gender in the Global Context and a member of the Research Consortium on Gender-Based Violence.
Professor Brenner also served as the first executive director of the Center for Women in Law at the University of Texas School of Law. Under her leadership, the center hosted the inaugural Women's Power Summit on Law & Leadership, an event that brought together leaders from all sectors of the legal profession with the goal of developing a blueprint for the continued advancement of women in the legal profession. She remains active in national efforts for reform.