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Tanya Asim Cooper

Clinical Professor of Law
Director Restoration and Justice Clinic
Caruso School of Law


Tanya Asim Cooper (she/her) serves as Director of the Restoration and Justice Clinic and Associate Clinical Professor of Law. 

Professor Cooper's research focuses on intimate partner violence in the Christian Church, and she earned several grants from Pepperdine's Community-Based Research Program and Cross-School Collaborative Research Programs to study this problem and train local churches. In 2017, Professor Cooper convened an interdisciplinary conference, In Search of Sanctuary: Strengthening the Church's Response to Intimate Partner Violence. In 2018, Professor Cooper received a fellowship to attend the Summer Research Institute at Harris Manchester College in the University of Oxford. 

Previously, Professor Cooper taught at the University of Alabama School of Law, where she directed the Domestic Violence Law Clinic. While in Alabama, she chaired a county-wide domestic violence task force, responsible for coordinating local domestic violence agencies, shelters, courts and law enforcement, and providing holistic services to victims.

Professor Cooper also previously taught at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, where she directed a parent representation litigation clinic. Professor Cooper helped reunify families and engaged in systems change and community organizing to improve DC's child abuse and neglect system.

Before teaching, Professor Cooper practiced at DC’s Children's Law Center in Washington, DC. She represented indigent children in abuse, neglect, adoption, guardianship, and custody cases; parents in special education, custody, housing and public benefits cases; child witnesses in civil and criminal child abuse cases; and she advocated for neglected children in juvenile delinquency and special education matters. She is a certified child welfare law specialist.

Professor Cooper's scholarship addresses: sexual violence in collegiate Greek life, child victim-witness testimony, copyright and art law, and racial bias in American foster care. Her research has been cited by legal scholars, students, and practitioners as well as the California legislature, the National Crime Victim Law Institute, and the ABA Criminal Justice Section. Excerpts of her articles have been reprinted in the casebook, Children and the Law: Doctrine, Policy and Practice (6th ed.), and on websites, including Race, Racism and the Law. Her articles on clinical teaching have appeared on the Clinical Law Prof Blog.

Professor Cooper serves on the Pepperdine University Diversity Council and the Caruso School of Law's Council for Diversity and Inclusion. From 2012-2019, she served as editor of the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) newsletter. In 2023, she was elected to the CLEA Board of Directors to serve a three year term. 

Professor Cooper is an active member of the California bar, and she is also licensed to practice in Washington, DC and Alabama.  She is married to Stephen Alexander Cooper, a lawyer and writer.



  • LL.M., University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, 2012
  • J.D., American University Washington College of Law, 2002
  • M.A., Boston University, 1997
  • B.A., Boston University, 1996



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  • Clinical Law
  • Critical Studies 
  • Gender Violence
  • Litigation